Readings: Exodus 20:12-17, Acts 2:42-47, Luke 10:25-37
Kevin and I were walking in our neighborhood a few evenings ago and saw a neighbor we hadn’t met before, holding a light to the street. She said a snake coiled and struck at her husband and he was inside calling animal control. Kevin pointed out features on the little snake that were not consistent with a rattlesnake, so we all relaxed, but still watched to see where it would go. We’ve lived there over 20 years and never saw a snake in our area. She said she’d been there, just one street over, for 13 years and had seen one only once before. I thought, This family has been here 13 years and we haven’t met them before? It was sad. Now we have a connection, even if it’s a shared fear of snakes, and I hope we meet again. Our reading this week in Luke is Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, a man who took extra care of a stranger whom he considered a neighbor. He showed mercy. “Go and do likewise,” Jesus said. Kevin had mercy on me as I anxiously looked at the ground on the rest of our walk. “Don’t be nervously looking for another snake. Reframe it in your mind,” he said. “That little snake is just mixed up by such warm winter weather and didn’t hibernate; he will be good for our neighborhood. He’ll chase rattlesnakes away, eat mice and maybe even eat roof rats when he grows up.” A couple days later I read this in Max Lucado’s book, Anxious for Nothing, “Fear is the pulse that pounds when you see a coiled rattlesnake in your front yard. Anxiety is the voice that tells you, Never, ever, for the rest of your life, walk barefooted through the grass. There might be a snake…somewhere.” I’ll learn a lot through Max and Pastor Alan during Bible study Wednesday nights. Anxious for nothing. I can’t wait to be anxiety free. Truthfully, I should be now, because Jesus said so, “Do not worry about your life…but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness…” Help me do it, merciful Lord. Amen!