I need to start by noting that today is the day we honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
I’d like to share a teaching on The Good Samaritan from the last speech that King ever gave as my small part of honoring his legacy today:
Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness. One day a man came to Jesus, and he wanted to raise some questions about some vital matters of life. At points he wanted to trick Jesus, and show him that he knew a little more than Jesus knew and throw him off base…. Now that question could have easily ended up in a philosophical and theological debate. But Jesus immediately pulled that question from mid-air, and placed it on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho. And he talked about a certain man, who fell among thieves. You remember that a Levite and a priest passed by on the other side.
They didn’t stop to help him. And finally a man of another race came by. He got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy. But he got down with him, administered first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the “I” into the “thou,” and to be concerned about his brother.
Now you know, we use our imagination a great deal to try to determine why the priest and the Levite didn’t stop. At times we say they were busy going to a church meeting, an ecclesiastical gathering, and they had to get on down to Jerusalem so they wouldn’t be late for their meeting. At other times we would speculate that there was a religious law that “One who was engaged in religious ceremonials was not to touch a human body twenty-four hours before the ceremony.” And every now and then we begin to wonder whether maybe they were not going down to Jerusalem — or down to Jericho, rather to organize a “Jericho Road Improvement Association.”
That’s a possibility. Maybe they felt that it was better to deal with the problem from the causal root, rather than to get bogged down with an individual effect.
But I’m going to tell you what my imagination tells me. It’s possible that those men were afraid. You see, the Jericho road is a dangerous road. I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as we got on that road, I said to my wife, “I can see why Jesus used this as the setting for his parable.” It’s a winding, meandering road. It’s really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about 1200 miles — or rather 1200 feet above sea level. And by the time you get down to Jericho, fifteen or twenty minutes later, you’re about 2200 feet below sea level. That’s a dangerous road. In the days of Jesus it came to be known as the “Bloody Pass.”
And you know, it’s possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it’s possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking. And he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt, in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the priest asked — the first question that the Levite asked was, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”
That’s the question before you tonight. Not, “If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to my job. Not, “If I stop to help the sanitation workers what will happen to all of the hours that I usually spend in my office every day and every week as a pastor?” The question is not, “If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?” The question is, “If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?”
That’s the question.
In a time where we have white supremacist terrorists threatening our country, we should all heed the widsom of Martin Luther King Jr. and we should all strive for his calling of dangerous unselfishness.
And to honor the fact that the pastor at Martin Luther King Jr.’s church was just elected to the United States Senate. While the white supremacists throw a big shadow in this country, it is just a shadow. There are more of us, than there are of them. The election of Raphael Warnock is proof of that.
I do want to point out that last week, in the chaos that was my 11 AM hour, I missed Cathie’s submission for FAMILY. I have corrected that error and it has since been added to last Monday’s journal entry. I encourage you to go to the website to see it. My apologies Cathie!
I was actually worried that this is the theme that would break the streak. I figured COMMERCIAL would be a tough nut to crack for many people. But we did it! For the 68th week in a row, we hit double digits!
But you didn’t come there to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates. You came to see the submissions:
Christopher D. Bennett
But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:
HOBBIES! Another great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.
What defines a HOBBIES photo? HOBBIES are activities done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. What do you do in your leisure time, regularly, for pleasure? What do your friends or family do regularly in their leisure time for pleasure. Take a picture of somebody that is engaged in their leisure time pleasure. Or take a picture of an item that is used for leisure time pleasure. We aren’t here to judge what people do for leisure time pleasure. We are just here to photograph what give somebody leisure time pleasure.
As you should know, the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic PSYCHO is tied for being my favorite movie of all-time. Think about the scene is PSYCHO where Marion Crane and Norman Bates are eating supper together in the backroom of the Bates Motel office, with all of the birds that Norman has stuffed.
INT. NORMAN’S PARLOR -(NIGHT)
In the darkened room, lit only by the light from the office spilling in, we see Norman placing the tray on a table. Mary comes to the doorway, pauses. Norman straightens up, goes to lamp, turns on the light.
Mary is startled by the room. Even in the dimness of one lamp, the strange, extraordinary nature of the room rushes
up at one. It is a room of birds. Stuffed birds, all over the room, on every available surface, one even clinging to
the old fashioned fringed shade of the lamp. The birds are of many varieties, beautiful, grand, horrible, preying. Mary
stares in awe and a certain fascinated horror.
CLOSE UP – THE VARIOUS BIRDS TWO SHOT – MARY AND NORMAN
Please sit down. On the sofa.
As Norman goes about spreading out the bread and ham and pouring the milk, we follow Mary across the room. She studies
the birds as she walks, briefly examines a bookcase stacked with books on the subject of “Taxidermy.”
CLOSE UP – THE BOOKS ON TAXIDERMY MED. CLOSE SHOT – MARY
She notices, too, the paintings on the wall; nudes, primarily, and many with a vaguely religious overtone.
Finally Mary reaches the sofa, sits down, looks at the spread.
You’re very… kind.
It’s all for you. I’m not hungry.
Please go ahead.
Mary begins to eat, her attitude a bit tense. She takes up a small slice of ham, bites off a tiny bite, nibbles at it in the manner of one disturbed and preoccupied.
Norman gazes at her, at the tiny bite she has taken, smiles and then laughs.
You eat like a bird.
You’d know, of course.
Not really. I hear that expression,
that one eats “like a bird,” is really
a falsie, I mean a falsity, because
birds eat a tremendous lot.
(A pause, then
Oh, I don’t know anything about birds.
My hobby is stuffing things…
taxidermy. And I guess I’d just rather
stuff birds because… well, I hate
the look of beasts when they’re
stuffed, foxes and chimps and all…
some people even stuff dogs and
cats… but I can’t… I think only
birds look well stuffed because
they’re rather… passive, to begin
with… most of them…
He trails off, his exuberance failing in the rushing return of his natural hesitancy and discomfort. Mary looks at him,
with some compression, smiles.
It’s a strange hobby. Curious, I
I imagine so.
It’s not as expensive as you’d think.
Cheap, really. Needles, thread,
sawdust .. the chemicals are all
that cost anything.
(He goes quiet, looks
A man should have a hobby.
It’s more than a hobby… sometimes…
a hobby is supposed to pass the time,
not fill it.
When you are preparing to take your HOBBIES photo, meditate on an activity that passes the time, but doesn’t fill it.
Then send me you submission(s) by 11 AM next Monday. Remember, while I might consider you FAMILY, the picture has to be taken between 12:01 PM today and 11 AM next Monday. This isn’t a curate your photos project. This is a get your butt off the couch (unless you are taking your picture from the couch) and take pictures challenge.
You can send your images to either firstname.lastname@example.org OR you may text them to my Pixel 5.
That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will all be sharing our idea of HOBBIES in this place that passes the time next Monday.