“About a year ago a house on my way to and home from church got painted pink. All the other houses along that street are plain-colored, ordinary-looking houses. That whole house, however, from the ground to the roof and every bit of siding and shudder and trim in between, is a bright pink…a Pepto-Bismol shade of pink,” begins Phillip Martin, pastor of Epiphany Lutheran Church in Richmond, Virginia. He admits that awhile later, after he’d already driven by the house, he thought to himself, “Is that house still pink?” He couldn’t believe he’d just driven past it and didn’t notice it. He says, “It was clearly painted to be noticed, to turn heads, and yet, after going right past it about nine or ten times each week, I had somehow managed to stop seeing it altogether.” The parable from today’s passage, Luke 16:19-31, which has come to be known as the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, “is about noticing things…The message Jesus has for his listeners is there are certain pink houses smack in front of us and, believe it or not, it’s awfully easy to let our minds be lulled into ignoring them.” Martin reminds us, “the whole gist of God’s law and order is to practice compassion, to take care of the less fortunate…to open our eyes and see the things that God sees and God helps.” Who are the “pink houses” in your life that you need to take the time to see? How can you show them God’s compassion?
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