of the Day for Sunday, cites the “deep compassion” with which Jesus “rescues us
from whatever may hurt us.”
compassion in the NT is often expressed using the word splangxnizomai, as when
in Mark 6 he was overwhelmed by people in need coming and going, so he and his
disciples didn’t have time to eat or rest.
He tried to go to a quiet place, but the crowd followed him. He didn’t send them away, but felt sorry for
them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. They were people who didn’t know which way to
turn and had no one to lead them. So,
despite being overwhelmed, he taught them.
Then at the end of the day he fed them. He gave them what they needed. These were Jewish people. In chapter 8, he is among Gentiles on the
east side of the Sea of Galilee. He has
splangxnizomai for them and feeds four thousand. In the parable of the Waiting Father, the
rebellious and unappreciative son has depleted all his resources including his self-respect. He heads for home and we discover that the
father has been out waiting at the end of the driveway all the time looking for
his son’s return. When he spots his
undeserving son a long way off, he runs out to him and hugs him and welcomes
him home and throws a banquet for him.
literally means Jesus, innards, his intestines went out to people who were lost
and didn’t know where to find help. If
you try to pronounce the word, it sounds like one’s innards literally going outside
the body, splat, splash, splang. When
Jesus says the way to express your love for God is by loving your neighbor or
being a neighbor to someone, anyone in need, there is no mental gymnastics which can give us an
excuse for not having the same attitude as the one we claim as our Lord and Savior. If anyone thinks they can manage such an
escape, they are only fooling themselves.
Early I took
their slot for Wednesday and walked
Right past the blue tarped waiting grave.
Barry provided a reprieve of two days
Now 90 plus
through Sunday the forecasters say
And if that
wasn’t enough to vex
They pile on
top a heat index.
It’s time to
head for International Falls or Grand Marais
Maybe even risk
the road up to Hudson’s Bay.
At the end
of the text from Leviticus 19 we read yesterday it says, “But you shall love
your neighbor as yourself. I am the
Lord.” And in the gospel lesson from
Luke 10, in which Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan, the Lawyer cites
that loving God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, is followed by “and
your neighbor as yourself.” Then the
lawyer asks, “and who is my neighbor?”
But as Jesus
so often does, he turns the question upside down and points it at ourselves. At the end of the parable, Jesus asks “Which
of the three (Levite, priest or Samaritan) proved to be a neighbor…. Jesus moves the question from who my neighbor
is to whom am I to be a neighbor. To
whom do I reach out and help? To whom do
I risk giving help? To whom do I expend
time, money and energy to help?
nothing about the worthiness of the man left for dead beside the road. Perhaps if he had stayed home, where he belonged,
he would not have gotten into this predicament.
Maybe he himself was a robber who had gotten beat up by other
robbers. Yet Jesus and the rest of the
Bible does not ask the worthiness of someone in need or a foreigner or the poor,
or a deaf or blind person, or the woman who poured oil on his head and feet or
an orphan or a widow. Jesus simply says
to the Lawyer and to us, “You go, and do likewise.”
Jerome on the Good Samaritan
reading for this coming Sunday, July 14 is Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan,
a priest and theologian, born about 347 and died on Sept 30, 420. He is best known for translating most of the
Bible into Latin, know as the Vulgate translation.
wrote: Some think that their neighbor is their brother, family relative or
their kinsman. Our Lord teaches who our
neighbor is in the Gospel parable of a certain man going down from Jerusalem to
Jericho. Everyone is our neighbor, and
we should not harm anyone. If, on the
contrary, we understand our fellow human beings to be only our brother and
relatives, is it then permissible to do evil to strangers? God forbid such a belief! We are neighbors, all people to all people,
for we have one Father.
don’t get too excited about the book of Leviticus and that I’m doing prep work for
a sermon from Leviticus likely won’t induce you to jump over the moon nor run
away with the spoon. However, if you are
intrigued by what may result by Sunday, I invite you to show up at 10:00 at St.
Paul’s, New Melle, Mo. St. Paul’s is
just north of the Catholic church on County D.
18-19, the statement “I am the Lord your God.” Or a variation of that is
repeated at least 20 times. The reason we
should not live as the rest of the world lives is because “I am Yahweh your
Elohim.” Therefore, don’t uncover the
nakedness of your parents or any women or practice any other sexual aberration.
be holy for I Yahweh am holy (Kadesh).” (19:2) Am I supposed to act like God just
because he’s God? Well, yes. Here’s the Gospel reason. “I am Yahweh your Elohim who brought you out
of the land of Egypt.” For us the good
news which tops even that is when Jesus, Yahweh become one of us, delivered us from
slavery to not wanting to do what God wants us to do. The Red Sea event cost pharaoh and his army
their lives. The event of the cross,
cost God his life.
shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” Respect one another sexually. Respect your
parents. Worship faithfully. Take care
your neighbor’s need for food. Don’t lie to one another. Don’t cheat each other. Pay living wages. Don’t
slander one another. Stand up and defend your neighbor. Treat the stranger as
you would a member of your family.
from Leviticus is paired with Jesus parable of the hated, untrustworthy,
worthless, Samaritan who turned out to be a man’s neighbor. Jesus blows to smithereens all the reasons we
have for not taking care of others in their need.
Last week we moved from God’s greatness and majesty
To those whom God looks on in Grace
The humble and crushed.
We move from myself
To the whole congregation
to look upon all in our midst with care
including those humbled and crushed by life
Even the stranger, the refugee, the undeserving
Jesus says: Be neighbor to them as I was neighbor
church father, Cyprian wrote, “One cannot have God as Father who does not have
the church as mother.” Tomorrow as we
read God speaking in the Old Testament Lesson from Isaiah 66:10-14, we have
before us the image of a mother. In Isaiah
the mother image points to Jerusalem. For
us, it points to the church. It calls us
to rejoice in the church, be glad for the church, all who love her and all who
mourn her. For the function of the
church as Paul puts it in the epistle lesson is to act in a spirit of
gentleness. We read in Isaiah, “That you
may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; that you may drink deeply
with delight from her glorious abundance.”
The church is to satisfy the longing for the pure spiritual milk of the
word. To in effect be a mother carrying
a child on her hip and bouncing it on her knee.
The church is to be like a mother who comforts her child as announced in
chapter 40, “Comfort, comfort my people.”
Whether we can
rejoice over the church or whether we mourn it as not being what it once
was. God still has chosen the church to
announce to the world as Peter did on Pentecost, “Turn to God and be baptized
in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.” And then to offer the nourishment of the
sacrament of salvation, Jesus body and blood in Communion. Thus, all may taste
and see the goodness of God.
next three weeks our lessons will touch on being a neighbor. Paul declares that in Christ Jesus we are
free of obeying laws and rules (Galatians 5:1,13-25). But, he warns, don’t let your freedom as an
excuse for allowing your corrupt nature to take over. Rather, use our freedom to be expressed in
love for each other. “But if you bite
and attack each other, be careful that you don’t destroy each other.” The of giving into our desires is hatred,
rivalry, jealousy, angry outbursts, conflict and factions, and things like
Gospel lesson (Luke 9:51-62) Jesus set his face toward Jerusalem where he will prove
to be everyone’s neighbor on the cross. He
and his disciples were traveling through Samaria where a village refused to welcome
them. No love was lost between Jews and Samaritans.
their corrupt nature win the day, two of Jesus disciples, the brothers James
and John, volunteer to pray that fire come down and burn up the village. They did
not regard Samaritans as neighbors. Thankfully,
Jesus turned and corrected them.
we prayed this weekend, “Lord of all power might.’ God could have granted the brothers venge-filled
prayer. But God is “the author and giver
of all good things.” The good thing we
asked for was that God would “graft into our hearts the love of your name and
nourish us with all your goodness so that we may be enabled to love and serve
our neighbor.” In Jesus view, our
neighborly love is not only for one another in the church, but also for those we
think deserve a bit of fire from heaven.
must be grafted into our hearts. That is
done “through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our lord, who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever.”
Testament reading for today from I Kings 19 recounts how the prophet Elijah became
so discouraged that he wanted to die. Queen
Jezebel had declared him a dead man for wiping out her prophets to Baal. Elijah runs down to Mt. Horeb and hides in a
cave, complaining that he is the only one in all Israel who still is faithful
to God. “Poppycock,” says God, “I’ve
still got 7,000 people who haven’t bowed to Baal. Get out of the cave I’ve got stuff for you to
God “volunteered” him lead to his people out of Egyptian slavery. In Numbers 11, Moses gets fed up. “God, you
gave birth to these people, but you’ve made me their nursemaid to carry them
like babies to their new home. If this
is the way you’re going to treat me, just kill me.” Yahweh directed him to bring seventy of the
leaders and God gave them some of Moses spirit to help oversee the people. Not that things were all hunky dory after
that. The next thing we know, his
brother and sister, Miriam and Aaron, started undercutting him.
Isaiah answered God’s call, “Here am I send me. Send me.” God told him that his
ministry would involve preaching to people who would not listen to him. (Isaiah
6). At some point Isaiah became
discouraged and confessed his failure as a prophet to Israel. God answered, “You know what? You need a bigger
job. I’m making you a prophet to the
nations, (Is. 49).”
It was the
same with Jeremiah, who accused God of deceiving him. He determined not to speak the word of the
Lord any longer. The Lord told him that
he should stop complaining and say something worthwhile and just do the job he
was called to do.
I don’t mean
by this that congregations should make their pastor’s life miserable and not
care for their pastor, but pastors also must realize that success, as the
world, and even the church measures success is not the way God measures things.
God measures by faithfulness, both on
the part of his people and on the part of their God – called leaders.
of the Day on Sunday was not printed in the bulletin. Though the pastor said, “Let us pray,” my mind
apparently was somewhere else. I’m sure
I added my “Amen,” my “Let it be so among us,” yet, I had no idea to what I was
“Amening.” I looked up the prayer and
this is what we prayed; in case your mind went wandering.
acknowledged, “O God, You have prepared for those who love You such good things
as surpass our understanding.” It might
have been good if the pastor asked us, “Well,
what good things have you received this week that you never expected and
were a surprise and beyond your understanding?”
What you answer? Give it some thought.
Then we made
a request, even if we don’t recall it, “Cast out all sins and evil desires from
us” Now that is going to take some heavy
lifting on God’s part to get inside me and throw out all the junk the
accumulates throughout the day, week, year, lifetime.
excavated our lives, we asked that God would “pour into our hearts Your Holy Spirit.”
We need something to replace the junk. So
God would you dump a whole bucket full of the Holy Spirit us for a purpose. “To guide us unto all blessedness.” Part of our blessedness is to recognize that
we receive so many good things in our life that it’s beyond our understanding as
to why God is so good to us.
We know that
it can only happen, “Through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and
reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.”
Now we can
add our “Amen.” And know what we were praying about.