Where is this parable? Luke 10:25-37

Today while thinking about what Parable I wanted to write about, my thoughts turn to the Parable of the Good Samaritan.  At this very moment, the world is struggling to get a handle on the COVID-19 virus. Store shelves are empty of the daily essentials that we are accustomed too being able to pick up at our leisure, I’ve heard stories of people walking by others carts and stealing products as you turn away to look for something on the shelves. The ability to go to church on Sundays to see our extended families, have communion, or hold our normal youth meetings is even on hold.  We’ve been asked to practice social distancing, work from home, or to shelter in place to stop the spread of this virus.  School age kids are being affected with the cancellation of school, sporting events, proms, and possibly graduations.  It is a stressful time for all of us.

So, how, at this moment, can we practice being Good Samaritans? It may be challenging, but it’s still doable, it just may look a little different right now.

The first place to start is with prayer.  We can practice being good Samaritans by praying for everyone, giving thanks for first responders, doctors, nurses, and those that have no option but to continue to go to work because the public depends on them.  By praying for the grocery workers that hear the stress from customers as food shelves empty faster than they can stock them.  By praying for the delivery workers that are transporting various goods to stores or for those that are new delivery drivers just trying to make a living delivering meals while our restaurants are all closed.  Pray for their strength and health and mental well-being.  Pray for the healing of this great planet and everyone in it. Pray for calm in this chaos.

Then once you have finished praying, challenge yourself to reach out to others.  Get your phone out and send a text or call a few of your friends and simply ask them how they are doing and then listening to their response.  Check on the elderly and the youth that you know.  Find creative ways to connect with groups you normally see weekly through group chats, video conferencing, or a conference call.

Be the Good Samaritan in the scripture, stop and take a moment to take care of each other, to just check in, be a listener, offer encouragement and mostly a smile.  Together, we can get through this and look forward to meeting at the Cross come Easter Morning, even if we must do it virtually!

Toni Palmer, Youth Leader
Forest Park Christian Church, Tulsa