Sermon Summary for Sunday, July 10th
Who is your neighbor and how should you treat them?
During the 9am service on Sunday, the children gathered around Mother Mary as she recounted the Gospel lesson - the story of the Good Samaritan.
A man is mugged in town and left on the ground beside the road. Two locals, a priest and an assistant, walk around the man without giving him another thought. When an outsider comes along, he helps the man up and takes him to a local inn where he ensures the man is taken care of. Which of the men was a neighbor to the man who was mugged? Of course it is the outsider who showed him mercy.
Within the first minute, the children clearly "got it". They knew the message, but couldn't understand why we would want to treat anyone differently. As we grow up, it is easy to get jaded by life and to lose that childhood innocence. Nevertheless, Jesus is clear in this parable that being a neighbor has nothing to do with proximity. It has to do with sharing the His love with everyone; you might even say unconditionally.
I am reminded of the hymn we sing on Maundy Thursday during the foot washing - Jesu, Jesu (Hymn 602)
"These are the ones we should serve, these are the ones we should love. All are neighbors to us and you."
As we navigate through these trying times in which complex issues are simplified into binary ideologies, let us remember that we are all God's children. It is not necessary to blindly agree with everything. We must find a way to look beyond politics, race, wealth, gender, or sexual orientation to not only respect each other, but to unconditionally love each other. For it is from there that we can work together to address our challenges and make the world better for future generations.
In closing, Mother Mary requested that everyone, considering the unrest in our country, use the following as a daily prayer:
O God, Give me the strength to live another day; Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties; Let me not lose faith in other people; Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery or meanness; Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them; Help me to keep my heart clean and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity; Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things; Grant me this day some new vision of thy truth; Inspire me with the spirit of joy and goodness; and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls; in the name of the strong Deliverer, our only Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Respectfully submitted by Jeff Tindall