July 11, 2004

Luke 10:25-37

[25] Just then a religion scholar stood up with a question to test Jesus. "Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?"

[26] He answered, "What's written in God's Law? How do you interpret it?"

[27] He said, "That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence--and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself."

[28] "Good answer!" said Jesus. "Do it and you'll live."

[29] Looking for a loophole, he asked, "And just how would you define "neighbor'?"

[30] Jesus answered by telling a story. "There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. [31] Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. [32] Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.

[33] "A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man's condition, his heart went out to him. [34] He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. [35] In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill--I'll pay you on my way back.'

[36] "What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?"

[37] "The one who treated him kindly," the religion scholar responded.
Jesus said, "Go and do the same."

[The Message]

- - - - - - -

1. I greet you, whether you knew it or not, as a fellow loop-holer. This is another way of indicating that on one issue or another we are unrepentant. No, we do not want the Holy Spirit to assist us in communicating the whole wonder of GOD to another or to anticipate heaven including some particular people ('cause that would mean living with them now as heaven comes to earth).

2. Isn't it amazing how we keep asking about some far-off location in a perhaps time to come rather than asking about what needs to to be done right here and now simply because it needs to be done right here and now? Would rephrasing the question from the religion scholar help any in having said scholar more quickly and deeply hear about neighbors? Would it help you in your current life situation?

3. Our hearts go out to lots of people. The place we struggle with is how to respond to our hearts and follow where they lead. Our heads and teaching and experiences keep getting in the way. To have our hearts right with Christ without having our lives in tune with our hearts puts us in the category of ineffective- of partial-Christians.

Sometimes our heads or one or another of our gifts can push us forth but some other part of ourselves lags behind. How might we be helped to make of ourselves a community that is larger than any part? Would having tangible (Ozian)rewards for our hearts and minds and courage be of assistance? How else might we shift our intentions into our implementations?

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