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The Bulletin Insert Sunday 10th July, 2016 Pentecost 8 Year C Is the look of Love In Your Eyes?

BULLETIN INSERT   Lismore Anglican Parish –   Sunday 10th July 2016

Is the Look of Love In Your Eyes?

How can we hear the parable of the Good Samaritan with fresh ears? As one of the best-known of Jesus’ teaching parables, it can present a challenge to discover anything new. We can only imagine how outrageously controversial this idea of extending hospitality to a native of Samaria was to the Jews in Jesus’ time. But Jesus’ mandate is clear: love others as you love yourselves. No ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’.

Perhaps we can think of examples from our own community who might be like modern day ‘Samaritans’ – people we might consider ‘sinners’ beyond hope or redemption. How might we be challenged by the Gospel to extend hospitality and God’s love to those we find difficult to like or understand?

In the Colossians passage we see the power of the Gospel revealed in Paul’s prayer – the assurance that those who embrace the Gospel will find joy, strength and vibrant life in love for, and service of, others, in the fruit they bear for God’s Kingdom, and in the benefit people experience through this loving, serving community.

It’s disappointing that the Church is often seen by outsiders as hypocritical, judgmental and self-serving. Have we fallen into the trap of measuring spirituality and godliness by the same standards that society uses to measure worldly success – wealth and power? How different might our impact on the world be if we were to assess ourselves not against the latest ‘technique’ or formula, but against God’s standard of love, compassion, justice and service!

Would our standing as Church in the community be different if we were more other-centred, more intentional and willing to sacrifice our time, energy and money in making our communities more peaceful, equitable and whole?

Dusty Springfield sang about it in 1967 – the way we look at others will shape our relationships and opportunities to engage. What if we truly lived what we proclaim and sing? How would we measure up as a local church if we honestly and ruthlessly measured ourselves against God’s plumb line – the Law of Love?

Adapted from http://sacredise.com/lectionary/2016/06/proper-10c-ordinary-15c-7th-sunday-after-pentecost/

Luke 10:25-37 NRSV

25Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” 27He 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 neighbour as yourself.” 28And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.” 29But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” 30Jesus 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. 31Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34He 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. 35The 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.’ 36Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

 

Colossians 1:1-14 NRSV

1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

3In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 4for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel 6that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. 7This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, 8and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

9For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. 11May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully

12giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.