'Who is my neighbour?' asked the Scribe (website only)

Composers & arrangers:
Bishop, John
Composers & arrangers:
Carey, Henry
Authors & translators:
Smith, John M.

1. “Who is my neighbour?” asked the Scribe,
and looked to Jesus to define.
But Jesus’ answer challenged him
to ponder what was God’s design.

Where those in need have pain to bear
the love of Jesus leads us there.

2. “A certain man was on the road
to Jericho, a lonely way.
When robbed and left for dead was he
a priest passed by and would not stay.

3. The next to travel on that road,
a well-connected Levite, tried
to cross and look, but too afraid
he too preferred the other side.

4. An outcast from Samaria
came last and heard the victim’s cry:
saw to his wounds and bandaged them
and took him to an inn nearby.

5. He paid the keeper at the inn
to give the stranger every care,
before he set off once again
to face a journey few would dare."

6. Who was the neighbour to that man?
The truth the Scribe could not deny:
“The one who showed him selfless love.”
“Do likewise”, came the clear reply.

7. In our day, too, we see the need
of victims others would ignore.
The love of Jesus shows us how
to love our neighbour all the more.

Words: © John M. Smith (1940 -  )

Metre: 88.88.88.

Suggested tunes: Leicester (StF 278; H&P 175); Carey's (StF 454i; H&P 529). Also, see notes below.

Ideas for use

There is something of the old Sunday School songs about this re-telling of Jesus's parable of the Good Samaritan. It works well with a traditional tune, such as the two suggested above. However, perhaps John Smith's text is more versatile than it seems at first glance.

Hymn texts don't have to be sung each time they are used. "Who is my neighbour?" could be spoken as a narration to be acted out by others - a nice resource for all-age worship. Even less traditional is the idea of speaking the text as a rap - maybe with one or two rappers taking the verses and a group of younger children chiming in with the refrain. Let us know how you use this text.

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