We all know the story of the good Samaritan – but do you remember why Jesus told it? A man asked him ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ this man was not just anyone, but an expert in the law and we are told he asked it to test Jesus.
Opening Prayers (1)
As I sing and pray,
As I listen and reflect,
As I learn and mediate,
Draw close - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Surround me with your love,
That I might glorify your name,
In these next few minutes and in all that is to come.
1 Written by Tim Baker from 'The Vine at Home' compiled and produced by twelvebaskets
StF 249 Jesu, Jesu - North Ghanaian song adapted by Tom Colvin
Psalm 25 verses 1-20 (*NIV Bible version)
1 In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
2 I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.
4 Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.
8 Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
9 He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
*Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
StF 397 Walk in the light - Words and music Damian Lundy
Luke 10 verses 25-27
Message - Rev Christine Fox
Though our man wanted to test Jesus, when Jesus answered with another question - ‘how do you read it?’ the lawyer’s answer was good, but then tried to qualify it – ‘and who is my neighbour?’ – Fair enough perhaps – or did he want to limit the extent of his loving? What do you think?
– Jesus knows it is easy to love our family, it is possible to put ourselves out for our friends –or to help out those of our community, those of our religion or race – but Jesus adds another group of neighbours to these – by telling the story that we have named the good Samaritan –
How often do you come across someone who you don’t feel a natural affinity with who needs help – and you take the decision to help them?
And I say take the decision because I think that decision to help is the point at which you become their ‘good Samaritan’ and they become the kind of neighbour Jesus is talking about. And with family or friends you don’t even have to think whether to help them or not – but when it’s not family or friends then you might hesitate a moment – the need for a conscious decision arises - it’s a bit harder to cross a kind of line – maybe one we’ve been taught not to cross – for example, as children we were told to be careful of strangers – which is right - for of course Jesus isn’t asking you to stop being sensibly cautious – I bet that Samaritan man was looking over his shoulder when he was picking up the wounded man – in case those robbers came back – But he did make that decision to stop and help someone, contrary perhaps to what people would expect.
And Jesus is commending that decision. And that decision is a sign of the true state of someone’s heart – and God sees the heart.
What must I do to inherit eternal life? Not only be kind and helpful when it is easy or natural but to have a heart open to those who need help no matter who they are – the only requirement being that they need something I can give or can even partly help with. – Even our Samaritan knew his limits but he could get that man off the ground and out of immediate danger – and the innkeeper could do the rest. Do you ever watch the programmes about A&E or the ambulance crews? You realise how much the ambulance crews do before the person gets to hospital – but don’t forget the person who rang 999 in the first place… just as important - that could be you!
Jesus wasn’t just talking about medical emergencies of course when he said love your neighbour as yourself – we know that – your neighbour is anyone you come across who needs a response from you of love in action. Now – is this difficult? God says no – the other reading for today is from Deuteronomy 30: - 10b - 14…. …'obey the Lord… The word is in your heart and in your mouth'.
The key is to remember that for all who have opened their hearts to God, the power of God is then within your hearts and mouths and he will stir your hearts into compassion for others – you only have to take the decision to act on it – and he will speak through you too – his words that are needed at any given moment. Thanks be to God!
A time of prayer
Today is Action for Children Sunday. We begin with a prayer written for today by the team at Action for Children.
Loving, creator God. Thank you for making us all to shine your light. Give us courage and determination to make a difference to children whose stars are dimmed. Bless the work of Action for Children as they seek to protect and reveal the star in every child. Amen
We pray for all those, especially children, who are caught up in the conflicts of our world remembering the people of Ukraine and many others whose lives are being challenged by the conflicts around them.
We pray for the Church of which we are a part, giving thanks for the faith that we share together. May we continue to be inspired by our faith and continue to celebrate the way of God in our world today.
We pray for those who are important to us; our families, friends and neighbours. We give thanks for them and remember them today.
We pray for those in need, praying for those who are ill, those who live with challenging situations, those who mourn and all who seek peace in their lives this day.
We remember those who have died, giving thanks for them and the deep memories we have of them. May we be given the assurance of hope in the eternal nature of God’s love now and always.
A time of silence to add your own prayers
The Lord hears our prayer. Thanks be to God
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father ……
StF 345 And can it be that I should gain written by Charles Wesley
Go out in peace and seek the Lord, who is calling you into something new this day,
something holy, something loving, something peaceful. Go out in peace. Amen.
3 Prayer by Tim Baker from 'The Vine at Home' compiled and produced by twelvebaskets
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