Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Wednesday, May 27

Today’s Readings: Psalm 122; Ezekiel 4:1-17; Luke 10:25-37; 3 John 9-15; Psalm 137

The last 24 hours or so have been difficult hours for me. They’ve been tough because I’ve had to live with the reality that the California State Supreme Court decided to uphold Proposition 8 – a measure that removed the right of LGBT people to marry in the state of California. It was incredibly ironic that the decision was announced the same day I read the story of The Good Samaritan as told in the Gospel of Luke – for there is an important lesson that runs through both situations. Let me see if I can draw out that lesson. In the story of The Good Samaritan, one should realize that the first two individuals who passed by the injured man on the roadside had one thing in common: they were religious leaders. The first individual was a priest, and the second a Levite. I can just imagine what the priest was thinking as he came upon the bruised and battered soul: “I’d better hurry up and get to the Temple so I can be on time for the afternoon service.” I can also speculate about what the Levite might have been thinking: “My religion teaches that anyone who comes in contact with blood is unclean. If I touch this battered man, I’ll come in contact with blood and be unclean. Therefore, I’d better pass him by.” The sad irony here is that religion – an entity that was created to add value and meaning to peoples’ lives – was instead used to justify the shameful neglect of a person in need. It was only the Samaritan – an individual who was a part of a community viewed as apostates by the Israelites – who had the sense to extend care for a fellow human being. Sadly, the example of the priest and Levite was followed by some members of the religious and political establishment in California as they used their beliefs to deny the sacred worth (& legal rights) of LGBT persons. All of this makes me wonder how your religious/spiritual beliefs affect your way of being in the world. Do they give you reason to lash out against (or withhold care from) those who are different from you; or do your religious beliefs allow you to reach out to and empower those who are different? Til next time...

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