A Message for Teens and Families
I hope this email finds you all well. As we wrap up the school year we would typically celebrating the end of finals, talking about summer vacations, plans for working or excitement about our teens beginning their first job. Right now we would also be making preparations to depart on our annual Mission Trip. If you are a parent you can either read through this lesson with your teen or share it with them. Either way, I would encourage you to connect with your teen to reflect on our lesson together. If you do not have a teen in YOM, please feel free to follow along with us and share in our lesson.
The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied with a story:
In Luke 10, Jesus tells the story of a Samaritan man who helps a wounded Jew. At this point in time, years of tension had led to a centuries-long conflict between Jews and Samaritans.
But instead of letting the Jew die on the side of the road, the Samaritan stopped what he was doing, noticed the man’s pain, and went out of his way to help. The Samaritan showed compassion and empathy…when nobody else would.
Then, Jesus ends this parable by telling His followers, “You, go and do likewise.”
In a world filled with conflict and hardship, how do we actively live out Jesus’ words in a way that is helpful?
Here are 3 ways we can follow the Samaritan’s example and love our neighbors:
Place Yourself in Someone’s Pain
Sharing someone’s pain allows us to taste what God did for us when He came as a human to endure the cross. When we choose to experience what someone else is going through, we can then show that person true compassion.
Sacrifice Your Plans and Position
The Samaritan invested his time, his money, and his resources into saving the hurting man, just as Jesus surrendered Himself so that we could have abundant life. Sacrificial love costs us something—but the return is healing and forgiveness.
Take Specific Action
The Samaritan showed the Jewish man that he cared by taking care of him. It was that decision that led to restoration. In the same way, we must be willing to repeatedly act in ways that demonstrate empathy, humility, and grace. Compassion, in order to be effective, has to lead to action.
So, who in your life is hurting? How can you step out of your comfort zone and into their pain? Your decision to do that might just lead to healing and restoration.
Please read the prayer below together as you reflect.