Cross thoughts: Christian ideas seen in Sudanese every day life.
Why do we always find it so
hard to get along well
with our neighbours
when they come from a different tribe or culture?
Photo: me with two of my neighbours in Khartoum North.
Our Lord Jesus told a story to show how we can try to “love God with all our hearts, souls, strength and minds” and “love our neighbours in the same way we love ourselves (and people who are like us)”, Luke 10:25-37.
Those of us who have been going to church since we were children probably have known the story of the Good Samaritan for a long time. Today, in the situation our country of Sudan finds itself, we must learn to apply this message from our Lord Jesus, and to live by His teaching day after day.
Jesus began the story by saying his questioner had answered correctly that keeping these two laws will prove a person has eternal life, verse 28. In other words, it is not enough to say you are a Christian, you must show you are a Christian by your lifestyle (even when the crowd around you urges you to do something else). The Samaritan’s good work showed he was a Christian.
The job of every Christian neighbour is:
1. Do not ignore other people around you, especially not on the grounds of religion or race, see verses 31-32.
2. Get among people of whatever background so that you can find ways to express your God’s caring love to them, see verse 33.
3. Let your God move your heart with pity and fill your actions with compassion, so you can be like Jesus, see verse 33.
4. Share what is necessary with people in need and be prepared to put his or her needs above your own comfort and ease, see verse 34.
5. “Get your hands dirty” by becoming involved with a person from a totally different background to your own, see verse 34.
6. Use some of your own resources to help meet the legitimate needs of people around you. Do not impose on the goodness of others – pay your own way in giving compassion, see verse 35.
7. To sum it all up, live as the Good Samaritan lived, and do not be like the priest nor the Levite, see verse 37. “Go and do the same as him”.
As Jesus lived and moved amongst ALL people, so should we be examples of Christian love and heartfelt service to ALL others. Take up your own cross!