Blood on our hands

Do you see it? Do you see the connection in Charlottesville, Barcelona, Iceland? Friends the root is the same. This is not a Republican problem or a Democrat problem or an American problem; this is a human problem. The very first story of murder in this world is a brother killing a brother, the worker of the field vs. the tender of the sheep. Cain wanted to be the best, his offering had failed in comparison to his brother so what did he do? He killed him. And thus the first act of one human claiming superiority over another occurred, and it ended with blood and it has been happening like this ever since. But Jesus came to show us a different way, a way that doesn't claim superiority over others but a way that makes us a servant to one another. He came to show us through his death on the cross what he meant by loving your neighbor as yourself. When Jesus tells the crowd that they should love their neighbor, do you know the first question they asked? They asked, "who is my neighbor?" I always found this question a bit funny it should be obvious who our neighbor is right? But if we are honest we all would ask the same thing. When challenged with the call to love our neighbor the age-old sin of the "field worker" rises in our hearts, we want to say, "sure I can love my neighbor except for that one guy, that tender of the sheep ." Have you ever considered the story of the good Samaritan as a story about racism, ethnocentrism, and eugenics, a story that can teach us a lot about Charlottesville, Barcelona, and Iceland? In Jesus's story, a man lay naked, beaten and dying in a ditch. I doubt it was obvious which country he was from; maybe he was a jew, maybe a Samaritan, maybe a foreigner but to the one who got off his Donkey, cleaned him, bandaged his wounds and carried him to safety, it didn't matter, he was simply his neighbor. If you are wringing your hands this week with the news of KKK members killing peaceful protesters, Muslim's plowing through crowds of western tourist and the extermination of people with Down Syndrome then I want to suggest something pretty simple as a solution to the hate you see around you, get off your donkey. Friends, this is our man in the ditch, let's get off our asses and get to work. Christian, this means more than tweeting or sharing articles on Facebook or a MLK quote on Instagram it means physically getting up and doing something about the brokenness you see in the world. And I will warn you; you will break with the broken world you go to help, this is the nature of cross bearing. The good Samaritan got in the dirty ditched, lifted the man on his donkey, walked so he could ride, cleaned his bloody wounds and paid his way. We are called as Christians to love our neighbors at a cost to ourselves, to enter the suffering of others and suffer with them, so they will see the suffering savior we claim to know. The temple is not in Israel anymore it is our very bodies, and we are called to be Living sacrifices for our King. And when we do this there will be blood on our hands but not the blood of guilt like Cains, but blood like the blood on hands of the good Samaritan from the cleaning the wounds of his neighbor, blood which shows we are entering into the suffering of our neighbor. So go on and hop down let's get to work.

Rachel Baxter