Opening Our Eyes to Human Suffering

Luke’s Message & American Christianity • I am not sure our churches (and people in the U. S.) know what to do with the teachings of Jesus. I believe this for two reasons. • First, we identify with the wrong characters in Bible stories . Our sermons and theology inappropriately place us as heroes/heroines or victims. Given our social and political context globally, that is wrong. I think we are priest and the Levite in Luke 10 (and the rich man in Luke 16). We see but don’t see. • Second, we only think of Bible stories in an individualistic manner . We need to learn to think about this text in an institutional and or communal manner. The scandal of American Christianity is not an individual and their love for one person outside their home. Neighbor love is not just personal. It is national, even global. God’s world is a big neighborhood. • Because of these things, we don’t open our eyes to suffering. We kind of know it’s there. We know a few statistics, but we don’t really see them. The U.S. church is a modern ‐ day parable of the Good Samaritan.

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