Jericho Road is about joining us, walking with us and working with us. Jericho Road is about reaching the unreached with mercy and the gospel. Jericho Road is about continuing the good works we already do, and finding new ways to help the vulnerable.
I bet you know that story of Jericho Road. A man walking along the Road was attacked by thieves, beaten, robbed and left nearly dead. Two men passed by on the other side of the Road. People you would think should stop, look and help. Then a Samaritan had compassion, took the stranger to an inn, and saw he was well cared for. Not just first aid on the roadside… a generous helping hand in a time of need.
You might also remember Jesus’ own acts of compassion on Jericho Road, to blind Bartimaeus and Zacchaeus.
Jericho Road was a place of great risk, great vulnerability… there were thieves and robbers and many things that could go wrong… and it was a place where Jesus spoke of great mercy and he himself demonstrated great mercy to those in need, both physically and spiritually.
So what has Jericho Road got to do with us? Let me explain. We aim to provide high quality and distinctively Christian care to all those in the community who are most vulnerable and who would otherwise be isolated from support. Now just think of the Samaritan on Jericho Road. Just one man. Not an important man to our knowledge. Not a huge organisation with a complex plan of action to help all the needy on every road. But a man who had mercy on one who others had walked past. A man who took care of someone who otherwise would have had no care. That’s exactly what we aim to do. Every day. And everyone can have a part in that, wherever you live.
In 1926 an account of the social service work done by the Presbyterian Church over the previous 20 years was written. Rev Bell wrote this “Overdue Aspirations – Almost from the inception of the work at Wooloomooloo, the Committee aspired to do great things. At different intervals in the reports we find proposals to establish crèches, a superannuation fund for deaconesses, a training home for future workers, a hospital chaplaincy, or a home for aged women. All these are forms of social service which commend themselves to Christian people. But so far not one of them has materialised. They are still beautiful dreams. Yet dreams have a way of coming true, and the Committee is still hoping to see something concrete in the not too distant future.”
In 2013, it is good to look back at our long history of showing Christ to those in need; more than 100 years. Today, we are still dreaming “beautiful dreams” and praise God for those that have become a reality.
So, can I encourage you to join us? Join us, so that we can continue reaching out to the vulnerable in Jesus name?