HIGH POINT, N.C., Jan. 18, 2016 – A message about the Good Samaritan and having an instinct to help others in times of need filled the Hayworth Chapel with roars of applause today at High Point University’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. service.
Community members and HPU students, faculty and staff gathered in the chapel as the Rev. Prince Rivers, senior pastor of Winston-Salem’s United Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church, delivered the message.
Rivers’ words were filled with challenges and hope as he cited the times of peril that the nation and the world continue to experience today.
“People are suffering, and God is trying to help us meet their needs with courage and compassion,” Rivers said. “The Good Samaritan called us to live in a way that is caring and compassionate, yet we live in a time when rage seems to be the emotion that dominates. We must live our lives so well that it makes a difference to someone else. We must be the best person God has called us to be.”
Rivers read from the scripture of Luke where the parable about the Good Samaritan is found. As passersby ignored a man lying on the side of the street who had been beaten, a Samaritan stopped to help.
Rivers drew parallels between the parable and the work of King, who once delivered a sermon called “The Drum Major Instinct” – the desire to lead in life, to be out front and first, as well as King’s most urgent question, “What are you doing to help others?”
“The Good Samaritan knew that unless he wanted to abandon this street to thieves and robbers, someone had to do something,” Rivers said. “Indifference is not an option. Ignoring the problem never works. We must have not only the drum major instinct, but we must define greatness as service and love. We must have the ‘Good Samaritan instinct.’ That’s when we live with both faith and love for our neighbor… It’s when we live in a way that causes us to want to make a difference. That’s what gives our lives meaning. That’s what gives our lives purpose.
“Today, we are constantly faced with answering the question, ‘What is going to be better because I lived?’” Rivers said.
HPU’s Genesis Gospel Choir provided the music throughout the event, and an offering was collected to support West End Ministries.
“Jesus said loudly and clearly, love one another through thick and thin,” said Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president, when he welcomed guests to the event. “We are proud to host this service today and to be a part of this community. We are proud to honor and celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
In addition to the service, HPU also organized “A Day On, Not Off” featuring 35 community service projects throughout the city through which more than 600 people contributed 1,500 hours of service.