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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Samaritan Sermon from the Summit....

Pretty, isn't it? Almost makes you want to climb it to see the view....from the top of the world.

It's of the summit of Mount Everest.

You can click the title to see why I felt such a need to risk blogarhea and post yet again today.

The link is to a news story- about a recent climber- who didn't make it.

A number of climbers- walked past the dying man, on their way to the summit. Many reasons were given... "I'm not the most experienced", "I though someone else would help".....etc.

Sir Hillary said this in his shocked response:

"Human life is far more important than just getting to the top of a mountain," Hillary was quoted in an interview with New Zealand Press Association.

Sounds like the parable of the "Good Samaritan". Without anyone rescuing, the dying man.
I felt instantly challenged, and convicted... here's what I found when I looked up the verses- yet again....

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus.

"Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" 27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'[c]; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[d]"

28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." 29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" 30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.

31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

Have I passed anyone ont he street, who was hurting, and left them to die?

Ummmm No.

But- I felt challenged, because, in my desire to reach the "summit"(achieve certain goals or desires I have) I've walked past others- who were struggling to breathe. Maybe for some of the same reasons as the fellow climbers.... "someone else would be more experienced- to help them, someone else will come and do it ....."

Even worse--- I've felt that judgemental attitude well up inside of me...."well... you dug your hole... now lie in it" "Geez, get up and walk... stop laying around whining about it.." or.... "What an idiot to fall like that- to not have enough oxygen for your climb....." "How could you not be prepared!! You should do things LIKE I DO... prepared." "You should have known better!" or...worse yet... "I have places to go, and summits to climb... I don't have time to stop and help you. Besides- you've proven yourself an inept climber, what value is there for me? You'd just weigh me down."

As Christians- and especially as leaders, we're called to encourage others along the climb. Sometimes, even taking the oxygen mask from our own face- to help another breathe...(sharing our hope with others) Whether they've dug their own hole, planned poorly, or been immature, in their skills as a fellow climber. And follower.

It's easy to point fingers at those on the climb, and be critical... but I haven't been there- I haven't climbed to the summit of Mt Everest.... Or the one you're climbing, either. I can only look at my own heart, and acknowledge the sin that is there- the selfishness, the pride, and repent. Change.

Dear Lord- change my heart, make be be a leader, and a person, who is more caring of people that summits, help me to be the one to stop- and help, even if it means I may never make it to some summits' that I have planned for myself. I love you lord- and thank you for saving me..... help me to share that hope with others- amen.

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