We all have an office in a situation. I mean that we all have a role in a situation and when we seek to live another person’s role then conflict and sin often results.
An example of how sin erupts when we seek to act outside of our own callings is the fire of the restaurant that occurred next door to the congregation I serve. The first responders had their role. They fought the fire. As the pastor of a nearby congregation, I offered our bathrooms and coffee to anyone that I could. I talked with people who gathered on the lawn of St. Paul to watch the fire. I hoped to offer counsel and hope in the blessed love of Jesus Christ. The only people who had the office of investigating the fire and determining the cause of the fire was the fire department. But I found myself questioning the cause and the motives of others. I listened to others conjecture the cause of the fire. It was so easy to speak beyond my duty and seek to usurp the role of another person.
This event last week has caused me to think about how important Jesus’ question after he shared the story of the good Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”
When someone is in need, is there any other question more important than this question? “Who was neighbor to this man?”
The Word of God shows me my sin, my struggle, and the struggle of others. Praise God, I also find in the Word of God the blessed assurance of the faithfulness of our Lord God. His love is inexhaustible and is needed in our exhausted world. I pray that I will be a vessel of the Lord to share this forgiving love in my community. I know I struggle. I know that others struggle. Thank you Lord for understanding our struggles and our need for you.