This morning I met with a small group for prayer and devotion, before heading out for the regular Tuesday morning community BBQ. I was given a small book edited by Charles Ringma, called Cry Freedom, with voices from the Third World. Which is a daily devotional book. Todays devotion was on a quote by Fausto Gomez from his book, Liberation Theology and Christian Liberation. He wrote:
Personal conversion, however cannot be authentic without the action for freedom and justice and truth and love. To be really liberating, conversion must be conversion to God and our brothers and sisters.
Jesus was asked the question “…and who is my neighbour?” And he replied with a story about someone from another ethnic cultural group who was beaten, robbed and left to die. A priest saw him lying there and passed the other way. A bible college professor saw him laying there, and passed by the other side muttering about how morally bankrupt he was. But a tough looking weather beaten, tattooed, motor biker saw him laying there and stopped, took him to hospital and organised his medical bills to be paid. In telling the story, Jesus then asked, which of the three was a neighbour to the man who was beaten. To which the answer came, the one who had mercy on him… Jesus then said… you go and do likewise.
At this mornings community bbq, I shared a meal and life with many with different life stories and experiences to my own. Many of them were rough diamonds like the man took mercy on the victim of robbery. Some of them have been in the position of being the robber. Others have been victims of robbery and abuse themselves. And within my heart I was praying – Lord, help me to be a neighbour to your people, and not pass them by.