for Sunday, July 14, 2013
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
8th Sunday after Pentecost
lectionary focus: Luke 10:25-37
inspiration: How to do the Good Samaritan? Thanks to Rev. Christopher Henry of Shallowford Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA, for hitting the nail on the head with his Day1.org sermon “Tell Me a Story.” (Please forgive me my errors with who vs whom.)
Once upon a time…well, actually more than once upon a time. In fact, probably a gamillion times, we have told stories. We are Story People. We love to get wrapped up in a book or movie or show or tale or whisper . We love to hear about people and far away places and exciting adventures and funny mistakes. But I think we especially love to hear stories about ourselves. Whenever someone says, “One time when you were little…” oh, we each lean in a little closer and smile a little bigger. We love to hear about how we did things. By sharing stories, we learn about ourselves. Stories are very powerful.
Jesus knows the power of stories. In our Bible story today, a very smart man asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Now we all know that Jesus could have simply said, “Everyone.” But instead, Jesus involves us by telling a story–probably the most remembered of all His many stories–The Parable of the Good Samaritan.
Once upon a time, a man went down the road to Jericho. He was attacked by robbers who stole from him, beat him, and left him wounded on the side of the road. Soon after a man from his church came down the road but crossed to the other side to avoid helping; next a man from his town came down the road, but he also crossed to the other side to avoid helping; then a unknown man from a far other town came down the road. Not only did this foreigner bind up his wounds, he also took him to an inn, cared for him, and left enough money for the innkeeper to continue caring for him.
Just like all of us listening now, the people listening to Jesus back then knew which character in the story acted like a neighbor. But I wonder if you noticed that Jesus did not name us in the story. Jesus did not say, One time, you were going down the road, or One time, you saw a man lying on the road. Jesus doesn’t tell us which character we are. He lets us figure it out and decide who we want to be in the story and who we want to be in the world. In the Good Samaritan and in each of His stories, Jesus helps you learn about yourself, giving you power to choose how to live the stories of your life.
I wonder who you will choose to be in the story of your life…
Will you say a prayer with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)
to keep You
in the story
of my life.
We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.