Friday, February 13, 2004

Luke 10:30-34 – Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine." (ESV)

I used to be a teacher and a caretaker, so I find myself mildly obsessive about order, litter, and untidiness in my place of work. (Home, though, is another matter!) One man I work with confided in me that when he saw me for the first time in church, he checked to see if his mobile phone was off, just in case I told him to switch it off!

I progressed through the room at the end of my late night recently, and switched off all one hundred of the machines as they became vacant. I also cleared up the discarded packaging resultant from the students' eating, hidden from the view of my office window; bless them. As I let go of my collection into the bin, a plastic foil wrapper wafted down, a fugitive from the bin's lip, and rested by the base. It looked up at me reproachfully. I told it to mind its own business, and to leave me alone. I told my mind not to be so obsessive about a piece of litter on the floor, and I hesitated for a moment.

It was no good; it drew me like a magnet; I had to pick it up.

As I did so, the thrust of today's Scripture from the Parable of the Good Samaritan came to mind. Do not ignore what God has placed at hand for you to do in the service of His kingdom.

I believe God has put His desire into our hearts to be co-workers as Jesus' hands and voice to the world. He has placed a burden on our hearts — a burden that acts like a magnet — to bind up the broken-hearted, to do the right thing, to be drawn into action, to be prepared to cross the road, to be involved.

All this from a piece of dropped litter!

Prayer: Lord, we ask that You cleanse and forgive us all that is past. As we worship You today, grant us Your presence to perceive Your kingdom heart of love, wisdom, and insight to this world. Let us know the call of Your Holy Spirit on our lives, so that we do not turn away from what You are calling us to do today in the authority of Jesus. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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