The four windows on the pulpit/organ side along on the side aisle in the sanctuary are scenes from parables that Jesus told. The fourth window portrays the parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37.
This window shows the man who fell among thieves and was left for dead along the side of the road. There are two figures on the left side of the window which represent the first two people who passed by that way. Each of them has their eyes averted. Only the Samaritan stopped to care for the man who was injured. His hands are on the other man’s head, perhaps offering a bandage. A donkey is on the right side of the window the beast mentioned in the story that the Samaritan will use to get the man to the inn.
It’s a story about the ways in which we intentionally (or unintentionally) overlook the needs of others, thinking that our own needs are more important. Because the hero in the story is from a racial group that was typically despised and shunned, a “Samaritan,” this forces the listener consider the ways that prejudice and upbringing is at work in the ways we treat others. Jesus tells the story as a way to illustrate what it means to “love our neighbor as yourself.”
To love as Jesus loves means that we notice others, particularly when they are in need, and we stop to offer what care we can. To walk by on the other side of the road for whatever reason is to fail to be his disciple.
Next week, we’ll take a walk to the other side of the sanctuary to investigate the windows that show four moments in the ministry of Jesus.
Grace and peace,
Common English Bible
Loving your neighbor
25 A legal expert stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to gain eternal life?”
26 Jesus replied, “What is written in the Law? How do you interpret it?”
27 He responded, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”[a]
28 Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.”
29 But the legal expert wanted to prove that he was right, so he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 Jesus replied, “A man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He encountered thieves, who stripped him naked, beat him up, and left him near death. 31 Now it just so happened that a priest was also going down the same road. When he saw the injured man, he crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way. 32 Likewise, a Levite came by that spot, saw the injured man, and crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way. 33 A Samaritan, who was on a journey, came to where the man was. But when he saw him, he was moved with compassion. 34 The Samaritan went to him and bandaged his wounds, tending them with oil and wine. Then he placed the wounded man on his own donkey, took him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day, he took two full days’ worth of wages and gave them to the innkeeper. He said, ‘Take care of him, and when I return, I will pay you back for any additional costs.’ 36 What do you think? Which one of these three was a neighbor to the man who encountered thieves?”
37 Then the legal expert said, “The one who demonstrated mercy toward him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”