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When we meet together on Sunday mornings, we share our joys and concerns. Think back over your past week to your own joys and concerns. If you would like, you can share them in the comment section below. The prayer below comes from this website. When you are ready, pray the prayer below, including your own prayer requests.
Sovereign Lord, You have commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Help me to do that in my community. Help me understand the problems my fellow people are going through and find ways to help them in ways they need it most. Help me to love others no matter what their race or other differences. Help me to receive their love as well. Help me not permit grievances to block giving or receiving love.
Pray for your own requests here.
This week's lesson is on Luke 6:27-36.
A primary theme of Jesus’ ministry in Judea was God’s love for the lost and lowly: Sinners, outcasts Samaritans, and the poor. Please reread verse 36 again.
The kingdom that Jesus preached and lived was all about a glorious, uproarious, absurd generosity. Think of the best thing you can do for the worst person, and go ahead and do it. Think of what you’d really like someone to do for you, and do it for them. Think of the people to whom you are tempted too be nasty and lavish generosity on the instead.
Today’s text calls us to practice inclusive love. In the verses just prior to today’s text, Jesus sent out 72 of his followers in pairs to proclaim through word and deed, “The kingdom of God has come near to you” both Jesus and his followers rejoiced at God’s power working through them.
The questioning law expert is looking for a loophole to be able to choose who to care for, so he asks: “who is my neighbor” Surely God doesn’t expect us to love all people. There are people who don’t deserve our time or our resources. This is a trap we can easily fall into. Jesus’ parable leaves no room for self-justification. If we are looking for a way out of loving that person who is too difficult, or in too much trouble, or frankly probably wouldn’t help us if the tables were turned, then we betray hearts that do not love as God loves. Instead of looking for loopholes, we need to search for opportunities to use what God has given us to bless all our neighbors.
Jesus taught that we should love one another as he loved us.
How do we do that? As believers we have the Holy Spirit. It is only by the spirit that we can love like Christ.
This parable forces us to ask “How can I be a neighbor?”
It encourages us to have an attitude of heart, a lightness of spirit in the face of all the world can throw at you.
Thank you, Father, for giving us the great commandment for your glory and our fulfillment. We want to love you with all that is within us. And we want to love our neighbors - whomever you place before us - in the same way we love ourselves. In Jesus’ name we pray . Amen.
This week's benediction is from The Message.
Next week's lesson is on 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.
We are a small, rural Presbyterian church in southwestern Pennsylvania.