As part of our youth ministry's recent conversation about refugees, students worked in small groups to write a modern-day version of the Good Samaritan. Here's one group's version:
An empty-handed Syrian refugee was traveling from Damascus to Chicago. He was waiting outside of the resettlement agency when he was approached by a Christian mother who crossed the street with her kids to avoid contact with the refugee.
Next, he was approached by a pre-school teacher, who rolled her eyes at him.
Then, he was approached by a police officer who threatened to arrest him for public indecency but carried on.
Suddenly, a group of minority park rangers approached him, gave him food, clothes, and offered to fly him to Chicago and house him at the lodge at Starved Rock.
While this story is good, what was even more valuable was the conversation this group had about the Good Samaritan. The act of translating this parable into today's context forced students to think carefully about who the equivalent of each character in the story would be in our society. Most concluded Christians wouldn't be starring in the coveted role of the Good Samaritan but instead, would be one of the people passing by those in need.
That conclusion then led us to wrestle with how we - as Christians - can show mercy to our neighbors both near and far.