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Good Samaritan

By Dr. Bascom Ratliff

Pastor, Parker/Beagle/Fontana United Methodist Churches

The inspiration for today's message comes from a news article about Miami, Florida Archbishop Thomas Wenski. He was voicing his opposition to pending legislation in Florida that would make it a felony to knowingly transport an undocumented migrant. He cites the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). He believes the law is punitive and would make Christian clergy, who serve the Lord by serving others (such as migrants), criminals.

Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan to illustrate a point that we are to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. The story tells of a man who fell among thieves who stripped him of his clothing and left him for dead. A priest came down the road and when he saw the injured man, he passed on the other side. Likewise, a Levite, when he arrived at the place, looked, and also passed by the other side. However, the Samaritan saw the injured man and had compassion. He cared for him and took him to an inn. When he departed the next day he gave the innkeeper money and told the innkeeper to care for the man. He promised the innkeeper that if more money was required, he would pay when he came this way again.

Jesus ends this story by telling others to also be Good Samaritans to their neighbors.

Unfortunately, a number of politicians, who claim to be Christians, conveniently ignore the story of the Good Samaritan. Migrants have become modern day lepers. And when we label them and treat them as unworthy of God's love, we violate the basic principle that Jesus is proclaiming in the story of the Good Samaritan.

Sadly enough, we also ignore the finding that the great majority of migrants are Christians. As such, they are our brothers and sisters and we encouraged to love them. Matthew 25, plainly tells us that, when we give food, water, and clothing to others, we are also giving it to Jesus.

I believe, as do thousands of clergy in Florida and elsewhere, that we are commanded by God to love and care for others. The fact that migrants are Christians should further convict us of our shortcomings when we fail to treat them as valued and worthy. To ignore, reject, or abandon another person simply because they are a migrant is to further disobey and wound our risen Christ.

I will close this message with a great "Alleluia" for the Archbishop Wenski and those thousands of clergy and Christians who follow the commandment of Jesus to love one another. Our stories must recognize the faith and service of these great Christians. These stories require us, as a minimum, to search our hearts to strengthen our continued commitment to serve a loving and caring God.

I also believe that it is important to search our conscious and lend our voice to those who support basic care and respect for migrants. I am convinced that our country keeps the fundamental values of God and Christianity. Migrants are not lepers. They share our shepherd and worship the one and true Almighty God. Service First.


If you want to hear more about God’s wonderful promise of unfailing love and enjoy a great morning of music and worship, please come and worship with us.

We will worship at the Parker United Methodist Church during April 2023.

We will worship at the Beagle UMC during May 2023.

We will worship at the Fontana UMC during June 2023.

All services are at 10 a.m.

We serve communion on the first Sunday of each month. All are welcome.

Dr. Bascom Ratliff (913-710-5748)

Pastor, Parker/Beagle/Fontana United Methodist Churches

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