Interruption Is God's Invitation

Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan — a man is on his way from Jerusalem to Jericho. He was robbed, stripped, beaten, and left for dead on the side of the road. Three people stop by. First, a priest. He walks by, pretends he doesn't see it, and moves along. Second, a Levite. He ignores the man (not looking good for the religious folks). Finally, a Samaritan walks by (the "enemy" of the Jew), fixes him up, and makes sure the man is in good care. Only the Samaritan was willing to have his day interrupted.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes in Life Together,

We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions. We may pass them by, preoccupied with our more important tasks.... It is a strange fact that Christians and even ministers frequently consider their work so important and urgent that they will allow nothing to disturb them. They think they are doing God a service in this, but actually they are disdaining God's "crooked yet straight path."

God has used these passages to spark conviction in my life when I find myself placing the day's plans above people, my agenda over others' "claims and petitions." Bonhoeffer notes that the priest and Levite in the story of the Good Samaritan not only fail morally to bring aid where it is needed, but also fail to see the visible sign of the cross that God has laid in their path.

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