You are in the playground. You're quite new to the school and haven't got to know many people yet - but it's a bright sunny day and the world feels good. Over in the far corner you can see a group of girls huddled together. They are making a noise, but it's not really clear what they are doing.
The bell rings for the end of break. Suddenly you hear a shout. The group of girls scatters, heading off in all directions across the playground. Then you realise that one girl is left crouched in the corner, crying and obviously frightened. And as you look closer you can just make out who it is. You don't really know her, but you do know she's in trouble.
Your mind is in a whirl. Your first instinct is to help, but what if the girls come back? You are not that popular yourself so it might be you they pick on next. And you might be late for class. But you can't leave her - can you? What are your priorities - go and help or just mind your own business and go back to your class? What will you do?
Jesus told a story about a situation very like this. It's called 'The Good Samaritan'. This is how Ephraim, an old man who had once met Jesus in Galilee, tells the story in Storykeepers...
KEY VIDEO CLIP
From Episode 3: Catacomb Rescue
It feels bad to see someone hurting - but what can we do? We are busy, we are frightened, or we don't know them? Maybe we do know them but we don't like them. They're all good excuses. But Jesus taught a better way.
So let us pray that, like the Good Samaritan, we may remember those around us and their needs. And let us pray that we are not frightened to help even when we put ourselves at risk or make ourselves unpopular.
For Jesus' sake,
This parable is one of three on a theme of Friends and Neighbours included in Storykeepers Episode 3 'Catacomb Rescue' (the others are The Sower and The Unmerciful Servant). It comes from Luke's gospel and is told by Ephraim, an itinerant Storykeeper whose life was changed by early contact with Jesus and who takes particular risks to spread the gospel.
If appropriate, a link could be made with the work of the Samaritans, set up originally by Chad Varah, an Anglican priest, to help those in distress and despair. Their work continues today.