Meditation

Sermon for the 5th Sunday After Pentecost – 07-10-2022

Psalm 25:1-9; Deuteronomy 30-9-14; Colossians 1:1-14; Luke 10:25-37

Our lesson from Psalm 25 this morning, is first and foremost that God’s enduring hope in God despite all circumstances will eventually be rewarded. Note, it does not say when, just eventually. Here we see the Lord Himself is the true in the Old Testament; while Moses, priests, prophets, and even parents were His “teaching assistants.” All who teach in the name of God teach by His authority and share His purpose—-to guide learners in His truth. This “truth” is not a set of abstract doctrines, but a way of life. To learn from this Teacher is to walk in the path which He reveals to us. Note the term Savior to Jesus, but in the Old Testament God is called Savior many time. Noticed the many different ways the love of God is mentioned throughout this psalm. His love leads the faithful God to remember us in our sinful us in our needs and that we openly confess that He is loving even as He teaches us to live our lives, to give us hope in the face of trouble and He forgives our sins.

In Deuteronomy we are reminded that God punishes His people when we are unfaithful. He seeks to restore and renew us and a sign of His restoration is renewed blessings for us His people. God’s expectations for us are not unreasonable or beyond our capabilities. He is a loving heavenly Father who has reasonable expectations that His children will respond to Him in faithfulness and loving obedience. When we understand that we live in God’s world, and that He wants us to have a full and meaningful life in His world, then we understand His commands are not foreign to our best interests. This how any thoughtful parent shapes demands of children, and God is our Heavenly Father, always seeking the very best for us.

Colossians begins with a pretty good definition of the Trinity, God in Three Persons. Verses 3-14 tell us to pray and give thanks to the Father. His grace in providing salvation is the heart of the gospel. He fills us with spiritual wisdom to know and do His will. We grow in His knowledge and gain strength from His power. Even though we are not Jewish, He has given us the necessary qualifications to be His heirs, participating in the kingdom, which belongs to the beloved Son. God rescued us and reconciled us through Christ. Human being normally live under the power of tyranny of evil and sin. Satan rules life. God has defeated the dark powers and let us away to a new homeland—-the kingdom where His beloved Son rules. There we experience the freedom of His redemption and of forgiveness from sin and gilt. Salvation is thus a present experience of new living conditions.

In our Gospel lesson this morning Jesus was teaching and preaching and an expert on the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He responded, ‘What is written in the Law?” He answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all the mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.;” Jesus said to the man, “You have answered correctly,” “Do this and you will live.” But the man justifying himself asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Then Jesus began to tell the parable on the “Good Samaritan,” where a man was going from Jerusalem to Jericho and was accosted by several men who beat him up, stripped him of his clothes, took his belongings, and left him on the side of the road to die. A Priest was traveling the same was as the man, but upon seeing him, he moved to the other side and continued on.” A Levite, when he came the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan as he traveled, came where the man, saw him and crossed the road, saw him and took pity on the man. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine, then he put the mane on his own donkey and took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you have have.’ “Which of these three do yo think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The exert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.

At that time race relations between Jews and Samaritans had never been higher. In those times, it was more appropriate for women to tend to wounds, but that’s just another barrier that need to be overcome. Those who help anyone in self-giving love overcome all barriers. Then as today, we allow barriers to stop us from doing what our heart tells us to do. His is the Holy Spirit, urging us to do the right thing. Jesus allowed women to wander around with He and His disciples, though it was necessarily written about. Jesus love His friends, Mary Martha, and Lazarus and when he was there, Mary quite often sat in the room with Jesus and men and was welcomed to do so.

Beloved, I like many of you have friends of all colors, but I do not call them my black friends or brown friends, or yellow friends, red friends, they are simply my friends. This is the lifestyle that I model after what Jesus modeled 2,000 years ago and I would hope that you will do the same. If someone is hurting in body, mind, or spirit, I reach to them. I may not be able to do anything more than listen, but sometimes that is exactly what others need, is to listen to them as they share their hurts with us. I hope and pray that each of you has someone to talk with in hard times, just as much as in good times. We all need to reach out to others. I firmly believe that if more people would talk about their feelings, more help would be forthcoming, more understanding could take place and also healing. Amen

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