Updated: Jan 16
I went to Wal-Mart Saturday night shortly before closing time. The shelves, almost all of them, were empty. I purchased the available items from my list and resigned to look for others another day, perhaps at a different store. In many locations, grocery stores have become skeletons of their former selves. Panic has set in, and people are hoarding food, water, and toilet paper. Some have, while others seek what they lack. Christians have an opportunity to love their neighbors.
In Luke 10:29, one lawyer hoped to justify himself by eliminating his responsibility to care about strangers. He wanted to care about the people he already cared about. He did not wish for what Jesus gave him: a challenge to grow. Jesus told him a parable about a man who was beaten, robbed, and left to die. Two religious leaders passed him by, while a Samaritan stopped his journey, cared for his wounds, and paid for his lodging while he recovered. Then Jesus challenged the lawyer’s thinking by asking, “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”
There are simple needs that Christians can meet for people. Be like the Samaritan, find those in need of what you can provide and give to them because they are your neighbor as surely as the person who lives next to you. Christian generosity and compassion will shine more brightly now than when everyone has everything they need. If you have been looking for a way to be a light for Christ, opportunities now abound. Give because you care for others (cf. Luke 21:1-4). Who knows how many may be drawn to Christ because you gave them a roll of toilet paper or a package of pasta?