I truly appreciate having a child Colin’s age. Being seven years old he is inquisitive and not afraid to ask the big questions of life. I have been blessed with many conversations that call for me to jettison all of my five dollar words and break down faith in the simplest terms. It is surprising how challenging and yet rewarding it can be to simplify faith. Perhaps this is part of the reason that Jesus talks about having a child-like faith?
As many already know, Colin is a very musical child. He is able to memorize a sons after hearing it only a few times. One musician that he and I have grown to love is Justin Robert’s. (www.justinroberts.org) Justin is a children’s musician that has two albums based on the Bible. “Why Sea Monsters? Songs from the Old and New Testament” are filled with songs that take Bible stories and set them to children friendly music. Justin sticks pretty well to the Scriptural stories with a little humor added. These songs have helped Colin to not only learn the stories but have opened up great conversation.
Like most “good” children’s material, Justin also makes sure that there are some deeper connections for parents. After all he doesn’t want to entertain children only to have their board or annoyed parents turn off his music. One song has caused a lot of reflection on my part. “Not Today” is based on Luke 10:29-37, which is the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Justin picks up on the phrase that many of us use when we are appr
oached by someone begging or in need, “Not Today.” As in the parable, two people pass by with excuses as to why they won’t help a person in need. They also believe that someone else will pass by and help.
Of course we know, that the Samaritan helps even though his isn’t the character in the society that anyone expects to help. As Justin describes him, he’s from the wrong side of the tracks. This song has called me to question the excuses that we all use to avoid the duty and privilege of responding to those in need. I especially struggle with the fact that many of us are “doing well” and yet struggle to allow our faith in Christ to motivate our actions. We like the folks on the road, make excuses about all that we might lose.
If the Samaritan could risk everything to help the stranger beaten and robbed on the side of the road why can’t we? Week in and week out we make bold proclamation about the forgiveness and blessings we have received from Christ, yet we struggle to embody that reality in the world. We are filled with “Not Today!” even as we are being given the power to overcome our fears and weakness. Homelessness is a real and present reality in the lives of over 1500 people in Fairfax County, one of the most affluent areas of the United States. Those are only the people who are actually counted as not having shelter. We have countless neighbors who are living in poverty. How often has the response to this issue been not today? My question is if not today, than when? I hope that you will give your time, talents and financial support to our ministry partners like Western Fairfax Christian Ministries and FACETS. These partners are saying, “Today, for no one else is going to pass this way.”