Focal text: Leviticus 19
A close friend of mine once lived in a town that was rapidly becoming a mecca for the affluent in his part of the country, ignoring it’s heritage as a community that put significant effort into ministering to those in need.
One afternoon, my friend was crossing the street in a marked crosswalk at a stoplight, when a well-dressed man in his brand new white Cadillac SUV zoomed through the red light as he made a right hand turn. As this driver did so, he hit my friend with his vehicle, knocking him to the ground and leaving him dazed. At that point, the driver stopped, rolled down his window, cussed my friend out for getting in the way, then roared off. (Unfortunately, the driver got away with it; as at that moment my friend was in no condition to read, let alone remember, a license plate number.)
We could say a lot about the injustice of this, highlighting how those with power and position are often arrogant and self-serving, thinking their position and wealth grants them special privileges and consideration; and then contrasting that with the situation of my friend, a man of great talent and a good heart, but who lives on the margins of our economy.
But let’s not go there today; there’s enough of that floating around. Instead, we’ll focus on how this situation is illuminated by the text from Leviticus 19 that is part of the lectionary readings for this coming Sunday.