This Sunday we begin a four week sermon series that is inspired by the 4 faceted [not stained 😊] glass windows in the sanctuary that capture each of the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke & John. The windows capture a central aspect of how Jesus is depicted in each gospel. This Sunday we will examine the Luke window where Jesus is caring for the man who needs help in the parable of the Good Samaritan – a parable that begins with the question: “who is our neighbor?"
Current events are demonstrating that the question of “who is my neighbor” is just as relevant today as it was when Jesus first told this parable. Images of children being detained and families being separated have unsettled people of every political persuasion. In worship we bring the reality of what is going on in our world and ask for God’s guidance/wisdom not so that we would all necessarily share the same policy perspectives…but so that we would be united in the love that God has for each one of us and the love that we are called to embody out in the world & in our community.
I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday!
Grace & Peace,
This week's worship information:
Sermon Series: A Window Into the Gospels
Sunday's Message: Luke
Scripture [Passages are printed at the end of this email]:
Questions for reflection:
- What “aesthetics” of worship do you find meaningful and why? How aware are you of the four faceted [not stained 😊] glass windows in the sanctuary? Is there one in particular you enjoy?
- How do you answer the question, “Who is your neighbor?” Are there some “neighbors” that are harder to love than others?
- Our scripture for Sunday is the parable of the Good Samaritan. As you read it reflect on each of the ways that people respond to the Samaritan in need and consider times in your life when you have felt/responded in similar ways? If you could, would there be situations where you wish you could go back and respond differently?
- Spend some time reflecting on the present state of affairs in our country: what challenges your ability [desire!] to live out your faith in response to current events? How can you personally be a part of both uniting people and bearing witness to the Truth of who God is and how God wants us to live?
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord your God and his decrees that I am commanding you today, for your own well-being. Although heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the Lord your God, the earth with all that is in it, yet the Lord set his heart in love on your ancestors alone and chose you, their descendants after them, out of all the peoples, as it is today. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them with food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.