I recently read an article where the writer took his best shot to state how God looks at people. He said God doesn’t see liberal or conservative. He doesn’t see red states or blue states. God doesn’t see Christian or atheist. God simply sees “lost or found.” His claim makes sense to me since Jesus said he came to seek and save that which was lost. God doesn’t look at us through the filters or labels of politics, religion, sexual identity or any other labels. God sees the deeper condition of people, especially our ultimate need of Him.
The concept of how God looks at us caught my attention as our current sermon focus and Sunday school curriculum has us considering what it means to be a welcoming church. Especially, as we’ll use this Sunday the story of the Good Samaritan from the tenth chapter of the gospel according to Luke. Luke 10:33 states, “But a Samaritan on his journey came up to him and when he saw the man, he had compassion.” The Good Samaritan didn’t see a label; he saw the condition of the person regardless of the man’s ethnicity (at that time your ethnicity was a huge factor) and demonstrated compassion and mercy. The Good Samaritan demonstrated an act of mercy during what appears to be a routine trip. We ought to consider; do we look at others and quickly put labels on them? Does our labeling of others keep us from showing mercy and compassion? Maybe some labeling we do really isn’t about the people we see; it is the labeling we do about ourselves. We use labels about us like “we’re not spiritual enough to help”, “we’re too busy to help”, “we’re not qualified to help”, and the age-old assumption, “somebody else will help”. I think this much is true, welcoming starts with seeing. We need to see people and see God at least wants us to stop and check whether we can help, comfort, soothe and welcome. We need to see if in some way we can offer compassion and do it in the name that for us as Christians is the greatest name ever, Jesus! Read and pray through the story of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37. We’ll see you Sunday.
It’s all About Him