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The Upper Room Daily Devotional Guide

Good Samaritan

Artist: Stephen Sawyer
(USA, Contemporary)
Interpreter: Mona Bagasao-Cave
The parable in Luke 10:29-37 answers the sometimes-difficult question, “Who is my neighbor?” In the parable, a man of a hated, oppressed minority stops to aid a member of another culture when no one from the injured man’s own community would offer assistance. This parable can be read from a variety of perspectives, depending on the reader’s particular context. When I look at Stephen Sawyer’s Good Samaritan, I view the image in the context of the history of the United States of America. For me, the features of the men suggest an African American and a Euro-American, whose cultural heritage has been shaped by the history of slavery and racism in the U.S.A. Perhaps this is an important perspective for American readers to consider when reading this parable. I invite all readers now to consider who these men need be to bring the message of the parable to you. Then consider: Do you see yourself as the victim or as the helper in this story? What would it be like to be the other character? Is it easier to be the noble Samaritan, overlooking race and status to help someone who is in trouble, than it is to see yourself as the person who has been victimized and then ignored by his own? Does either role make you feel uncomfortable? Does one fit more easily? Why? Jesus spoke in parables to bring the hard questions home to his listeners. As we view the parable of the Good Samaritan through Sawyer’s moving art, let’s take the opportunity to re-examine our response to the question, “Who is my neighbor?”

Come back each day to read the daily Upper Room: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
Before you begin:  Sit quietly for 30 seconds or so to settle your spirit.  Take a few deep breaths and get comfortable.
Read:  Open your Bible and read the portion of scripture suggested beside the date.  After you read, pause to think about the passage.  What comes to mind?  What in it got your attention?
Quoted Verse:  The quoted verse relates to the central point of the day's meditation.  Read it slowly and think about its meaning for you.  Once or twice a week you might memorize a quoted verse.
"Story":  These meditations are written by people from around the world.  After you read the main part of the page, ask yourself, "How do this person's words connect with my life?"
Prayer:  To end your quiet time, pray the prayer at the bottom of the page.  You may want to add to it, mentioning people or situations that come to mind during your reflection.
Thought for the Day:  This element invites you to respond or sums up an idea from the day's reading.  Repeat the thought a few times and recall it through-
out the day to remind yourself of what you heard from God.
Link2Life:  This suggests ways to connect your life of prayer with your life in the world.  L2L may suggest Web sites to visit; however, we do not endorse any site.  Readers should use their own judgment about acting on information they may find.
Prayer Focus:  This suggests a subject for continuing prayer after your devotional time, joining with believers around the world in doing so.
To start a meeting:  Online is a list of current meditations by subject and dir-
ections for using them to begin meetings at:  devotional.upperroom.org/resources/
Read more about spending time with God in "How to Have a Daily Devotional Time"
at:  devotional.upperroom.org/quiettime.