In what has become known as the story of the “Good Samaritan,” one of Jesus’ most famous teachings found in the gospel of Luke 10:25-37, Jesus instructs his followers in the ways of sacrificial service, loving one’s neighbor, and caring for others who may not be able to care for themselves.
The story in brief goes like this: a lawyer questions Jesus on the way to eternal life. In response, Jesus gives a parable about a Samaritan man who tends to the physical needs of a victim of an assaulted robbery. The Samaritan and victim couldn’t have been more different. Ethnic, cultural, and religious barriers should have made the two men mortal enemies. But seeing the victim’s need, the Samaritan had compassion on him and served the man, even paying for his medical expenses with his own money. However, before the Samaritan man’s arrival, two other passersby refused to help the beaten man, and turned a blind eye to his apparent needs. It’s a sad truth that still exists today. Many people, aware of the desperate needs of others, refuse to serve out of their own justification. Such is not the way of Jesus.
The point of the story? Jesus’ answer to finding eternal life is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself” (see chapter 10, verse 27). The “Golden Rule” as this is called then, is not so much about “loving others as you would love yourself”, but rather “loving others as you love God”.
So how can Christians continue to show love to both neighbor and enemy the way Jesus taught? Well if you are a young adult in Fort Wayne, you can join a community of twenty-something’s committed to being the literal hands and feet of Jesus by serving the marginalized and tangibly meeting the needs of some of the most culturally neglected people groups in our city. Unlike the two other travelers who refused to help the man in need, this young adult generation in Fort Wayne has resolved to put their faith into action and care for our poor and disenfranchised.
Parker Crosby, a dynamic young leader and actuary by trade, has organized a Good Samaritan effort for local college students to serve the community on their spring break. For many young people at our area universities, spring break means a carefree week away from school. In an attempt to redeem that time off and create meaningful partnerships among young adult ministries, Parker has put together a week of service activities that has included serving dinner to the residents at the Rescue Mission, work projects with Neighborlink, prayer-walking downtown, and helping with the Community Harvest Food Bank. Students in Fort Wayne now have the option to turn their “staycation” into a “servolution”.
Participants have ranged from young adults apart of various churches and young adult groups, like the Gate, a ministry gathering of young adults at Pathway Community Church, and students with Chi Alpha, a campus ministry at IPFW, to a student ministry leader from the University of Saint Francis, as well as a collection of other twenty-something, warm hearted, Good Samaritans who want to make a difference in our community. Parker and his team of other leaders are hoping to make this service experience a monthly commitment. So if you are a young adult who is willing to get your hands dirty by serving the needs of others, stay tuned for April’s events.
When asked what the biggest take away was for Parker so far, he answered by saying, “Seeing the hearts of young adults perfectly aligned with Jesus’ heart this week, especially when uniting different ministries together, was such beautiful harmony in a world of chaos and disorder. That was the biggest impact of this week for me and I believe for the Kingdom.”