If you are considering Nursing Home Ministry, Let’s take another look at the story we call, “the Parable of the Good Samaritan” which could also be titled “The Parable of the Good Neighbor”
Luke 10:30-35 NKJV Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’
The first person we meet is the man who fell among thieves. His story was a lot like the residents of any nursing home. The thieves that caught him by surprise go by various names today such as age, physical disability or disease. People fall into a system where they lose control of their finances, their health and their personal freedom. Three different people came by the man that day. The first was a priest. He came from a good family, had chosen to dedicate himself to God’s work and was recognized as a leader in his community. But in spite of his opportunity to show God’s mercy, that day he failed. He passed by, saw the need but chose not to get involved. The second man was only a follower of the first, so he simply took the same path – the path of least resistance. Last in line came the Samaritan. This was the man who no one expected to help. When the Samaritan passed by that place, he saw the need, rolled up his sleeves and helped. He wasn’t an expert. He wasn’t a scholar. He was just someone passing by but he became a neighbor when he decided to stop and get involved.