Many years ago I witnessed a sketch of one of Jesus’ famous parables.There was a shock factor within the alternative title, as we were invited to observe: “The Parable of the Good Punk Rocker!” Back in the day, punk rockers were the supposed scourge of civilised society, banned from the airwaves and carrying a threat of menace and violence with their spiked hair and safety-pin laden clothes, rather than the now cuddly 60somethings now obliging American tourists for photoshoots down the King's Road alongside Pearly Kings and Queens. As such, the idea that there could be such a thing as a “good” punk rocker, was as unthinkable as the concept of a “good” Samaritan would have been to the original Jewish hearers of Jesus’ parable. Nevertheless, as we reflected together, Jesus made the point that the most unlikely person is still our neighbour, whom we are encouraged by God to love as ourselves. Indeed the generosity of the Samaritan, who then generously provided for the injured man’s present and future care, was admirable.
Of course this parable also I believe has something to say to us as continue our Refurb drive. Again, in the loving service of our neighbours within the community, we are looking to create a new and improved facility in the sports hall and beyond, and are giving towards it in a number of ways throughout our giving period ending on November 3rd. As was shared in church, a number of folk felt that within the Samaritan’s actions, were resonances with another teaching of Jesus which ended with the punchline; “that which you did for the least of these my brethren, you did for me”. May we be encouraged to be open to all the opportunities that we are presented with, to serve our neighbour whoever and wherever they might be.