Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today
NL Daily Devotion for Sunday, April 7, 2019
by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff
Main Idea: Jesus valued action over idleness, and altruism over selfishness.
Jesus had spent a lifetime fully immersed in the Jewish culture, politics, and religion. He knew it inside and out. And he was greatly disturbed by what he saw. He saw religious leaders studying, contemplating, performing rituals, but doing little to make the world a better place. On the other hand, he saw the marginalized helping each other, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, giving to the poor. He knew which kind of people would change the world. It would not be those sitting idly by, but those up to their elbows in muck and mire of servanthood. His parable was quite specific about the kinds of actions that would lead to greatness—altruistic acts of kindness and generosity.
The separating of people was not a new concept. But the ways people segregated themselves was different from the way Jesus defined them. Where people segregated themselves in terms of education, wealth, and health, Jesus defined people in terms of action and inaction, altruism and selfishness. It was not the external factors that determined a person’s worth, but the internal factors. Those motivated by generosity, kindness, justice, and peace were far more likely to perform for the benefit of others.
What acts of service is your community most passionate about? Lay those out and be specific about the ways people can become involved. Encourage people to find their passion and to commit themselves to it wholeheartedly.
O Lord, you long for your people to care for one another with the same compassion you show to them. Move our hearts in love wherever we encounter need and make us more like you with each day. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.