A Neighbor's a Neighbor!
(No Matter How Small)

Theme: Parable of the Good Samaritan - Proper 10 (15) Year C
Object: "Horton Hears a Who!" by Dr. Seuss
Scripture: The Parable of the Good Samaritan - Luke 10:25-37

Do you like to read? I am a great fan of Dr. Seuss. I love his books. Of all the wonderful characters Dr. Seuss has created, my very favorite is Horton the Elephant. Horton is such a kind and compassionate character. I think we all could learn a lot from Horton.

The book I have today is called "Horton Hears a Who!" At the beginning of the story, Horton was splashing around in a cool jungle pool when he heard a small voice crying for help. He looked all around, but he did not see anyone. All he saw was a tiny speck of dust floating through the air. Horton realized that there was someone on that speck of dust who was calling for help. As it turned out, there was a whole town of people on that little speck of dust. They were calling out for help because they were afraid that the speck of dust would fall into the pool of water and they would drown. Even though they were so small that he couldn't even see them, Horton made up his mind that he was going to help them. "After all," he said, "A person's a person, no matter how small."

All of the other animals in the jungle thought Horton was crazy. First, a kangaroo, then some monkeys, and finally an eagle all made fun of Horton for wanting to help the people on the speck of dust. Why, they even tried to put Horton in a cage.

Even though none of the other animals would help him, Horton refused to give up. He remained faithful to the task of saving the tiny people who needed his help. Because of his faithfulness, the tiny people were saved and finally, the other animals realized that just as Horton had said, "A person's a person, no matter how small."

The story of Horton reminds me a little bit of our Bible story today. One day, a lawyer asked Jesus what he had to do to have eternal life. When Jesus asked him what the Bible said, the lawyer answered, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus answered, "You are right. Do this and you will live." Then the lawyer, wanting to justify himself, asked Jesus another question. "Who is my neighbor?" he asked.

To answer this question, Jesus told a story about a man who was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho when he was attacked by robbers. They beat him, took his money, stripped him of his clothes, and left him beside the road to die.

A priest came by and when he saw the man, he crossed over to the other side of the road and continued on his way.

A little while later, a Levite who worked in the temple came along. He also saw the man lying there and passed by on the other side of the road.

Finally, a man from Samaria came along, and when he saw the man, he stopped to help him. He put medicine on his wounds and wrapped them with bandages. That isn't all. He took the man to an inn and took care of him. The next day, he gave the innkeeper some money and told him to take care of the man. "Give him anything he needs. If it costs more than I have given you, I will pay you the next time I am here."

Then Jesus asked, "Which of these three men was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by the robbers."

The lawyer answered, "The one who helped him."

"You are right," said Jesus, "now you go and do the same."

Jesus has told us to love our neighbor. If you have trouble knowing who your neighbor is, just remember the story of "Horton Hears a Who!" and the story of the Good Samaritan -- then you will know that every person is your neighbor and "A neighbor's a neighbor, no matter how small!"

Dear Father, help us to love you with all our hearts and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Amen.

Works Cited:

Geisel, Theodore Seuss. Horton Hears a Who. New York:Random House, 1954. Print.

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