Today’s Reading: Luke 10:13-37 (additional reading: Psalm 75:1-10 & Proverbs 12:12-14)
Chuck Swindoll tells about a man who went to see a psychiatrist because he was extremely depressed. After an hour together that the psychiatrist was struggling to get the man to snap out of it. So he said to the man, “Tonight I want you to go to the circus in town because they have a clown named the Great Rinaldi, he is the funniest clown I have ever seen. Whenever I go to see the Great Rinaldi it always lifts my spirits.” The man responded. “You don’t understand doctor, I am the Great Rinaldi.”
The community and world that we live in is slap full of Great Rinaldis, people who are empty and searching for some type of meaning. There days are filled with desperation and they can’t seem to find relief.
They may put on masks of happiness, to appear fine to everyone, but when they return to their homes at night they cry themselves to sleep because their life is pointless and they long to find something in life to make them happy and give them a sense of meaning.
God has given his church the responsibility to reach these hurting people. This church was designed for the single mother who works two jobs to support her kids. This church is for the drug addict who can’t stop his habit. This church is for the young person who struggles with self esteem. This church is for the young couple who lives together and has never been exposed to the best way to build a home. This church is for the man who does not respect his boss, so he steals from the company and from his coworkers. This church is for the housewife who goes out searching for some excitement in the arms of a man that belongs to someone else. The church is for the alcoholic who is ready to admit he needs help.
We have heard the story of the good Samaritan 1000 times, but so often we miss the basic truth of this story. There was someone in need and someone loved God enough to be inconvenienced. There are so many things that get in the way, of what we want to do. And unfortunately we refuse to look at the inconveniences as an opportunity to please God.
Many of us want to see our churches full, but not of ‘those people’ yet this parable teaches us that it is those in need around us that we need to reach.