This week my husband has been working half-days so has been arriving home before me. I would always let him know when I was leaving the school building, and every time I arrived home there was a cup of tea waiting for me – it was just what I needed – it was Love.
A lot of people associate Christianity with RULES, that there are certain things you MUST do, but unfortunately they think more about the things that you must NEVER do. When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was he said TWO things:
- To Love the Lord your God
- To Love your neighbour as yourself
For Jesus, all you needed to do was to Love. There was no question that Love should be the first of the School’s Values. But what does it mean to Love? The people at the time when Jesus said this didn’t know either, they specifically wanted to know who their neighbour was, so he told them the parable of the Good Samaritan.
This is quite a familiar parable, and it tells us so easily what it means to live a life in Love.
The first thing I want to think about is our expectations. Why are we so shocked in the story when the Priest, and the Levite walk by? Why are we so shocked when the Samaritan helps? It is because we all have expectations of people. The Priest and the Levite were both ‘Holy’ people, surely they should automatically help out someone who was injured? The Samaritans and the Jews hated each other, so surely the Samaritan should just walk by if he sees a Jew in trouble?
Why should that be the case? Why should it only be only the ‘holy’ people that should be expected to help? Why shouldn’t we expect that any person should try to help. We should have been equally as shocked for a Samaritan to walk past and not help, and yet, we possibly wouldn’t.
This takes us on to the second point which is acting in love to our neighbour. The point of Jesus’ parable is not that we should help our enemies, but that actually we shouldn’t have enemies, but we should love All people, as they are ALL our neighbour.
The Samaritan helped the Jew because he could see that he was in pain, that he had been left for dead. He knew that if he was in that position he would want to be helped. It didn’t matter that he was politically considered and ‘enemy’ it mattered that he needed help.
That is how we should approach life. Living a life in love doesn’t have to be extravangant, it is thinking about how you would like to be treated and treating others in the same way – no matter who they are. Making a cup of tea, holding a door open, helping a new pupil who looks lots, saying hello, asking if someone is OK, helping to spell a word, helping to find a lost book/tie/kit…
The Archbishop’s school is SO good at this already. Over the last 3 days I have seen so many pupils helping out others. A few who have been late to my lessons, because they’ve been taking pupils to their lessons. Since last September we have sent numerous donations to Canterbury Foodbank, to help those who need food. The Bin is still in in the foyer, if you are able to give. As a school we give a lot of money to charity, and to a range of charities. The challenge is to see what more we can do, we may not think it a lot, but to someone it can make a huge difference.
The two commandments from Jesus are inter-linked. As we love God, we will automatically love others.
Love, is a small word, it can be very very daunting, but it is actually very simple…
Prayer: Father God, we thank you that you loved us so much that you sent your son Jesus to live among us and die on the cross, in place of us. We pray that we can show that Love to those around us, in school, in Canterbury, in the world. Amen
Challenge: Each day, show love to someone who you don’t know! There doesn’t need to be a reason, other than to show love!