Our rector at St. James Episcopal Church, in Del Rio, Texas, is on vacation. As a licensed worship leader in our diocese, I was asked to conduct the service, which includes a homily. The following was my ATTEMPT at giving a homily:
|Abide - My Playbook 2016 (Part 2a)|
Tim Holtz Embossing Folder; Acrylic Paints; Watercolors; Sharpie Micron Pen; Prismacolor Colored Pencils; and Ephemera.
Julia and Jan's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 371
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday - Week 19 Year 6
Roger & Denise ABC Wednesday - Letter A
In Rev. Marshall A. Jolly’s sermon, Are We Ready to Hear the Truth?, he said, “Christians have become accustomed to being soothed on Sunday morning with a feel-good message that portrays God as little more than a Divine “fixer,” taking our failings and jagged edges, and smoothing them over into something sublime and holy. “God works all things for good,” we say.” Hence, the popularity of preachers such as Joel Osteen, whom I confess I like to listen to sometimes. His primary focus is often on passages such as the one we read in Deuteronomy 30:9-14. I agree, if we turn to the LORD our GOD with all our heart and soul, and we observe his commandments and decrees, abundant prosperity in all our undertakings can be found. I could write a book on all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me, even when I didn’t feel I deserved them.
|Peace - My Playbook 2016 (Part 2b)|
Tim Holtz Pine Cone Die; Acrylic Paints; Sakura Oil Pastels; Sharpie Micron Pen
Simons Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Red, White or Blue
Art Journal Journey - In My Garden
Try It On Tuesday - Happy Holidays
However, it is imperative that we also remember Jesus’ words in Luke 10:25-37, about the Good Samaritan. But, who were the Samaritans? After a little research, I found that Samaritans were a racially mixed society of Jewish and pagan ancestry. They worshiped the same God as the Jews, but only accepted the first five books of the Bible as canonical and had their temple on Mount Gerizim instead of Zion. Because of their differences in Jewish practices and their partly pagan ancestry, they were despised by the Jews. Samaritans were despised so much, that Jews would not even set foot in their territory in fear of contamination. In John 8:48, they’re even referred to as demon-possessed. Doesn’t it sound like what’s happening these days?
|Sunday Sketches - My Playbook 2016 (Part 2c)|
Mixed Media Photo and Pixelmator
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Anyway, In the Bible Study: 8 Pentecost, Susan Butterworth reflects, “It’s a rare person who doesn’t know the parable of the Good Samaritan. Unlike some of the parables, the message seems quite clear: Love your neighbor. Anyone in need is your neighbor. It is understood that the Samaritan is an outsider. It is the outsider who shows compassion to the half-dead man by the roadside after the priest and the Levite, members of the community, have crossed to the other side. In the parable, it is the outsider who is the true neighbor because he shows mercy.
|Happy Birthday, Mom!|
Fisher's Advantedge Up, Up & Away Punch; WeR Memory Keepers SewEasy; Martha Stewart Drippy Goo Punch; BasicGrey Hey You Paper Pad; DCWV Textured Pad; ATC's Corrugated Pack; Mini Popsicle Stick; Sequins & Glass Beads; and Ribbon Scrap
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Photo Inspiration
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It is moral and Godly to show mercy and compassion to anyone in need, whether that person is one of your community or an outsider. In our lives, we probably know this. While the parable is about doing what is right – “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” and “Go and do likewise” – there is more to the story than righteous behavior. In the passage immediately preceding the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus says, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!” He is talking about faith. The priest and the Levite are in a hurry, on their way to work in the temple. They don’t really see the injured man except as an obstacle in their path. The Samaritan sees and is moved with pity. He sees in a different way, with blessed eyes, with the eyes of faith. Perhaps when Jesus says to the lawyer, “Go and do likewise,” he means see with the eyes of faith.
Take a look at the various characters in the parable, particularly the lawyer, the priest, the Levite and the innkeeper. Think about their lives and their reaction to the events of the story. Put yourself in each character’s place. In what ways are you like each character? How does each one feel and react to the injured man? Would you react the same way? Think of this parable as a story of ministry and healing.”
|A Visit to Hope Outdoor Gallery, Austin, Texas|
Nikon D3300 Photographs Collaged on Layout
Our Beautiful World - Play
Therefore, in today’s society, where the world, our nation and even our families and circle of friends seem to be breaking more and more apart due to partisan, social, cultural, religious, and other points of view, I believe we all need to keep Jesus’ parable regarding the Good Samaritan in our heart, soul, and mind. In the words of my 20 year old daughter, after the recent shootings in our country, “There should be no argument as to who’s right or wrong. It all comes down to the same fault: people were killed senselessly. There are families hurting on both sides due to hate and violence. My prayer is for Peace in this country. Gracious, Everlasting, Unifying Peace.” I wholeheartedly agree, as I feel ashamed of my personal biases. We need to stop focusing on the negativity we see in the news and social media, and truly love the Lord our God with all our hearts, and with all our soul, and with all our strength, and and with all our mind: and our neighbors (which includes our enemies) as ourselves. We need thrive to all be one in HIM. May the peace of the Lord be with us, the nation, and the world.