Friday, October 13, 2006

The Gap between WWJD and us

Here is a new version of a thought-provoking parable.

“Who is my neighbor”?
A suggested modern paraphrase of Luke 10:25-37
One day a certain lawyer stood up and put Jesus to a test, saying, "Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How does it read to you?" And the lawyer answered and said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.''
And Jesus said to him, "You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live. ''But, wishing to justify himself, the lawyer said to Jesus, "and who is my neighbor?'' Jesus replied and said, "A man living in his house during hurricanes Katrina and Rita fell victim to the raging weather. Hurricane Katrina stripped the roof and siding from his house and then Hurricane Rita came along with four feet of water. The water beat against the outside of his house and into the walls and caused the mold to grow, thus destroying his home. This result left his spirits half dead because he was forced to become homeless''.
"And, by chance, a certain religious man came by the neighborhood one day and when he saw the destroyed house passed on the other side because he was really busy and didn't have the time to do anything. And likewise a man of different faith came by the house, and after he had seen it he too passed on the other side, thinking someone else with more time or money would surely come along and help the man”.
“But a certain man from another faith came through the neighborhood and when he saw the man’s situation had compassion on him, and came to him and brought others with him and they offered to rebuild his house and give the man hope by showing kindness and love towards him. They lifted the man up further by ministering unto him while they prepared to rebuild his house”.
"To do this they took their own money, along with funds others had donated, and purchased building materials. They applied their labor to those materials and in so doing began to rebuild the man's house. A few weeks later the poor mans house was rebuilt and the man – now fully restored - moved back into his home. The certain man and his friends then went on their way to find another destroyed house and help another hopeless man”.
“So which of these three men proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell victim to the hurricane? Truthfully, the last of these men (and his friends) had become like my hands and feet by working to restore hope to another man. They completely answered the question the lawyer asked, ‘who is my neighbor’ by doing something neighborly, and not ‘passing on the other side’”.

So answer this question, WHO IS YOUR NEIGHBOR? The gentle reader is welcome to attack this up-to-date interpretation from any imagined vantage point one might think they perceive, but IMO this modern rendition is pretty spot on to the true meaning and intent of the original.

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Bill said...

I usually object to WWJD stuff because 99% of us don't know WWJD. This however is as you say "spot on" because very little of Christs intent was changed as the story was updated. Well done to whomever created it.

49erDweet said...

Thanks, Bill. I rewrote a piece found on the Mennonite Disaster Relief webpage. Discovered that whilst checking on the Amish schoolhouse shooting aftermath story. The manner in which their community of believers responded to that tragedy is simply amazing.

And I agree with your first point, too.


Bill said...

Good pacifists those Mennonites (-:

49erDweet said...

Absolutely! Principled, resolute and brave, too.

Mrs. Dweet is an alum of Fresno Pacific University (an MB school) and we worshiped several years with an MB congregation in north Fresno, so have a generally high opinion of their POV. [Yes, I know MB is not "general Mennonite"]

What I appreciated most about them was that pacifism was considered a personal choice. A majority of the men in our church had formerly served in the US military, most in combat or combat-support roles. But a sizeable minority had opted for alternative non-combatant public service - much of it at great personal sacrifice - in lieu of going to war. I might disagree with that choice - and their interpretation of scripture from whence that belief sprang - but I respected them as persons for the manner in which they "walked the walk".


Bill said...

I understand your respect for the manner in which they "walked the walk", I have much the same regard for soldiers.

I tend not to be judgmental or critical of soldiers. Anyone that makes the choice of such service does not do so lightly in times like these, but if Canada ever re instituted conscription (our word for the draft) I suspect I too would choose alternative non-combatant public service.

49erDweet said...

And even though I would probably disagree with it, I would still respect your decision to seek such service and continue to consider you an honorable man.

For discussion purposes, though, that does not mean that other things you said or did could not alter that high opinion. But that factor, alone, would not.

Continued cheers.