This Sunday we will hear what may be the most important parable Jesus ever told, one that only Luke chose to include in his gospel, perhaps because it was so shocking (Luke 10:25-37). A lawyer tested Jesus by asking first what to do to inherit eternal life. The answer Jesus affirmed was to love God and love our neighbor as our self. Then the lawyer tried to test him again, asking who is our neighbor. Jesus replied with the scandalous story of the Good Samaritan, defining neighbor solely on the basis of the love and mercy and kindness a person needs or a person gives, and showing that no one is excluded from being the neighbor we are called to love.
The other scriptures we will read are about being humble enough and faithful enough to listen to the word of God and let it teach us and change us. Deuteronomy says, “Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away…. No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.” (30:11-14) The 25th Psalm says, “Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.” And the truth that God teaches is that “All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness.”
Organist John Atwood is on vacation this week. Our Diverse Traditions Music Team has prepared a very diverse, beautiful and uplifting set of hymns and anthems and instrumental pieces. The amazing line-up includes: For the Beauty of the Earth; O Jesus, I Have Promised; Bringing in the Sheaves; Shenandoah; Siciliano by Scarlatti; I Saw the Light by Hank Williams Sr.; Let Your Love Flow by the Bellamy Brothers; a medley of Central and South American hymns; and a hymn from the 1980s out of the New Century Hymnal, They Asked, “Who’s My Neighbor?” Check out the YouTube videos of two of those below: