Go and Do Likewise

Jesus said to the man, “Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:25-37

Jesus said it. It’s in Scripture, Luke 10. For many of us, the story is familiar, and we might think, “I’ve heard that before.” Sometimes when the story is familiar, we let the words slide over us and find it is hard to let the Scripture work its way into our hearts and lives.  I think we need these words today, so this Sunday, June 24, as we continue, Connecting to Jesus … the Power of Hope, our focus will be on this passage we call the “Good Samaritan,” with the title With Us … Showing Us the Way. 2000 or more years old, this story is always new, always for us today, as we seek to follow Jesus, who told this story.

Today, God has put a prayer upon my heart.

Gracious God, thank you for this day, this summer, this gift of life. We breathe and know that each breath is a gift from you, a chance to take in your Spirit and let your love run through our lungs, blood vessels, tissues and yes, our hearts. Let your love run through our hearts. We are thankful for life and breath, and for those you give us to love, and who, by some miracle, love us too.  

O God, by the light of your Spirit fill the hearts of the faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love. It can be hard to follow your son, Jesus, who we say is our Lord and Savior. It can be hard to be Christian, to truly follow Jesus into the places of showing mercy, to hear the words, “go and do likewise,” as Jesus has done. We get knots in our stomach when we disagree with one another, our courage fails, and we do not do follow Jesus well. Please strengthen us, O God. Give us courage, let us hear.  

You ask us to lead, O God, and to support others who lead well. Your children are suffering at borders, in violence-torn lands, in schools and in homes, and need us to be ever guided by you. Give us courage, God, to be wise and ever guided by you, to find just solutions to difficult problems. Help us. Show us your way. Show us your way, as we seek to truly follow our Lord Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.

Blessings, Sharon

P.S.  Mark your calendar for Sunday, July 8, when Elizabeth Heft, General Board of Global Ministries missionary based in Bethlehem, Israel, will be with us in worship to share her story, and then will share more and answer questions at a lunch in Fellowship Hall at 12:30 p.m. Plan to be there to hear about this important work.