Freshman First 40 — Day 24

DAY 24
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2011

Lk 10:25-37 and Heb 13:2

Spring Break 2009 found 10 Belmont students crammed in a van on a 19-hour trip to Pine Ridge, South Dakota. While there, we had a difficult task ahead of us: build relationships with the Lakota people when relationships with the “white man” had been severely severed since the late 1800s. Knowing this, we pressed on, cleaning churches and helping in a thrift store in town. Through these small acts of service, relationships slowly began to grow.

After the trip I wrote an article about the Pine Ridge Lakota people. Through my words I gave a voice to the voiceless Lakota. I wrote about the severed ties, explaining the awful history of the Lakota being pushed onto smaller reservations while “white men” satisfied their greed for gold, the end result being the massacre at Wounded Knee. In the midst of these dark issues, however, there was a spark of hope. Through serving these people, setting aside our differences and past mistakes, regardless of skin color or background, relationships were built. As a result, a brighter future is now possible.

Jesus taught about serving others, regardless of their background. When an expert of the law asked Jesus who was his neighbor, Jesus took the opportunity to share a parable of a man who was robbed, beaten and left for dead (Luke 10:25-37). A priest and a Levite passed the almost-dead man; but it was the Samaritan, a man usually regarded as “no good” to the Jews, who “took pity on him” (10:33). The Samaritan lifted the man onto his own donkey and after bandaging his wounds, paid for a room in an inn and took care of him. Jesus asked the expert which of the three acted as the neighbor. “The Samaritan,” he said. Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise” (10:37).

Jesus urges us to set aside our differences and serve those in need. Whether it’s going on a mission trip or simply sitting with a lonely student in the cafeteria, Jesus encourages us to serve. “For by so doing, some people have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).

AMANDA STRAVINSKY
Class of 2013, Journalism

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