Jul13MonJuly 13, 2020
Imaginative Gospel Contemplation: Reading the passage 3 times, you put yourself in the story, as one of the characters and use your five senses in connection with your imagination. For this exercise, I will invite you to place yourself as a different character for each reading. Reading the scriptures this way can really help the scriptures to pierce us in our own real-time lives.
Read the Luke 10:25-37 out loud.
As you read the passage the first time, imagine being the one beat up. What do you feel, see, hear, smell, touch as you imagine yourself as this man? Following are some potential thoughts to get you going.
- I hurt all over. I can’t move. I have dirt in my mouth. Every time I hear someone coming, I look up and they turn away from looking at me. Shame, such as I have never encountered, covers me like a weighted blanket. I feel hopeless. And then a Samaritan comes by and begins to help me. I protest. I don’t want him to touch me but I do want him to touch me. There is such compassion in his eyes. As he poured oil and wine over my wounds, and bandaged me it was with extreme gentleness. He winces when I wince. When I moan, he tells me he is sorry. The oil and the wine seem to be like liquid love poured out on me.
As you read the passage a second time, imagine yourself to be either the Levite or the priest who passed over to the other side of the road. What do you feel, see, hear, smell, touch as you imagine? Following are some potential thoughts to get you going.
- I can see that beaten up man. What did he do to deserve that? No way he isn’t to blame somehow for his misfortune. God takes care of his own. Probably owed someone money – he should know better. Or, what time of day was he traveling? I bet he foolishly carried too much money on him. You have to be careful. People are so naïve these days! I can’t get mixed up in that. Who knows if the robbers are waiting in the shadows for another poor sot to come along. I don’t want to get beaten up. This is not my responsibility.
As you read the passage a third time, imagine yourself to be the Samaritan, what do you feel, see, hear, smell, touch as you imagine? Following are some potential thoughts to get you going.
I see a man beaten and laying at the side of the road. I just want to get to where I am going. I have a lot of business to attend to. Besides, he won’t want a Samaritan to touch him. I keep feeling the pull of my conscience. If I don’t help him, what will happen to him? I go over and the more I see of him, how badly beaten he is, the more compassion I feel. Truly – a neighbour is simply someone I see. Is this not true? And I do see – I see even more when I stop to look. I feel God’s presence as I pour the oil and wine and bandage him with cloths. Somehow it seems like this man is giving me a gift. What is this gift. I am in the role of giving but I am receiving something.
Take some time to reflect on what you experienced in this contemplation. Give some silence to sit with it in God’s presence. You have just taken on 3 out of 4 main postures in relation to restorative justice (I didn’t include the person who beat the man). What insights, both generally and in relation to yourself, did you have? Ask the Spirit what He wants to speak to you in your current time of life.
This week, be on the intentional look out for who God might put in your path in order for you to live out what God has impressed upon your heart.
Luke 10: 25-37
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘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, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denariiand gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”