In this video, Bishop Ward encourages us to consider the plumb line of the Good Samaritan story.
Grace and peace to each of you today. Mike and I have a grandson, now thirteen months old, with the wonderful name of Amos. Our son and daughter-in-law, Jason and Alison, named him Amos in honor of the prophet. So, whenever there is a text appointed from Amos, you can be sure that we hear it with very special attention.
The text from Amos on Sunday took us to the story of the plumb line and I shared this plumb line with the children at Harbor United Methodist Church. Amos heard the voice of God say, “I am dropping a plumb line in the midst of the people setting it there.”
The plumb line is straight and we measure ourselves against it, just as a builder measures a wall or a vertical post by a plumb line to be sure that it is straight.
The gospel text for Sunday was the Good Samaritan story and that story falls like a plumb line in our midst here in our country in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict in Sanford, Florida.
Bishop Ken Carter of the Florida Conference has urged that we not waste this moment. And, the plumb line of the Good Samaritan story helps us think about our life together. The ways that we live well together in our communities, the way that we fear one another in our communities and the circumstance of racism which still exists in our culture.
The story of the Good Samaritan is a story about fear and courage. The priest and the Levite saw the injured person in the ditch and passed on the other side. The Samaritan, the unexpected helper, had the courage to stop and to help.
The Good Samaritan story is also a story about division. A priest, a Levite, good respectable church folks, and a Samaritan, an outsider. The story of the Good Samaritan is about racial divides, ethnic divides.
It’s also about community – how we reach across the divisions in our communities and in our nation and in our world to heal and to build and to create unity.
Let us not waste this moment in the verdict of a very divisive trial, in the wake of a great tragedy in Sanford, Florida. For as we think about this moment in our life together, God convicts us, God restores us, God gives us greater wisdom to live wisely, courageously with compassion day by day.
May Christ be with you as you consider this plumb line, this story of the Good Samaritan, God has set in our midst.