The main part of the service will consist of contributions from Ian & Wendy on the general work of Compassion, and in particular our project in Ecuador.
Everybody needs good neighbours
A scholar fired a barbed question in Jesus’ direction – “And who is my neighbour?” The answer given comes in the form of one of the best loved stories in the whole of the Bible, about a man travelling down the dangerous and mountainous road from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was mugged and left half dead.
He was ignored and bypassed by the religious establishment in the form of a Priest and a Levite, who were perhaps anxious to get home and fearing for their safety chose not to get involved, a symbol of today’s ”walk on by” society.
Challenge – Are you a part of that “walk on by” society that does not want to get involved in people’s needs?
Next, along came a Samaritan, that much maligned traditional enemy of the Jews, but surprise, surprise, he responded somewhat differently:-
1 – He was MOVED.
When he saw the victim, unlike the others who closed their eyes to the need and walked away, he instead was moved to compassion and – “took pity on him.”
How we need God to touch our emotions so that when we see bruised and battered human beings we too are moved to compassion (Matthew 9 v 36.)
2 – He was MERCIFUL.
Being moved to compassion was not enough, he felt the need to do something practical, and so despite the danger and the inconvenience he showed mercy as he – “bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.”
How we need God to enable us to do more than feel sorry for people; more than talk about their needs; more than even praying for them; we need as well to engage in merciful action (James 2 v 15 – 17.)
3 – He was MAGNANIMOUS.
He did not patch him up and then leave him by the roadside, instead he – “put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.” Then when he left he instructed the innkeeper to care for him, while he himself would pick up the tab for any additional costs.
How we need God to enable us to magnanimously give of ourselves to others by way of time and resources, by being willing to “go the extra mile” despite the inconvenience and sacrifice involved (Matthew 14 v 15 – 21.)
Challenge – Will you respond like the Good Samaritan to the “half dead” needs on the road before you?
The parable began with a question and it now ends with another – “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law reluctantly agreed that it had to be the Samaritan, although he could not bring himself to utter the word! Then Jesus said to him – “Go and do likewise.”
You see the main point of the parable is not who is my neighbour, but who can I be a neighbour to. So who are you going to be a neighbour to today?
Theme: “Neighbours – everybody needs good neighbours!”
Reading: Luke 10 v 25 – 37
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Nathan Gordon