A is for Attempt

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
Karen's Word Art Wednesday Weeks #238-239
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday - Week #236
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.


Christine said…
I love your daughters words, I would like to share them she is so right and your sermon brings comfort Arnoldo.

Wonderful SS entry, good luck!
Hi Arnoldo, this is a very sad time for America yet it continues to allow people to carry guns which I don't understand. Even children have shot their parents with guns and it seems like a way of life in your country so much so that it feels to lots of people in America a necessity to carry a weapon. I cannot relate to this as for me a gun is a killing instrument and until they change the laws this will not end and lives will be taken needlessly. It will not be easy to change the way people think. I would love to visit America but I am too afraid to do so I'm sorry to say. I pray for you all that this sad state will end. Your friend, Angela xXx
Valerie-Jael said…
The world is indeed a scary place just now, and we need to re-find the respect and love we should have for others. Lots of beautiful art, thanks for joining us at Art Journal Journey and TIOT, Valerie
chrissie said…
All very beautiful artwork and an uplifting post

Thank you for sharing it at Try it on Tuesday

Love Chrissie xx
What an wonderful interesting post and amazing artwork Arnoldo and you meet so much challenges as well again! Thank you very much for joining Art Journal Joureny and Try It On Tuesday again! Always great to have you with us!
And yes:
May the peace of the Lord be with the whole world!

Meggymay said…
I have had a moving visit, when reading your post. Senseless killings and the effects on the families are something that should be addressed. I also cannot relate to this, coming from the UK where we have strict gun rules. I do hope that sometime soon the American gun carrying issues can be changed, to keep you all safer in your country.
Your art work looks fantastic and I am pleased to see the page you have shared with us at Try it on Tuesdays and at Art journal journey, it looks beautiful.
Neesie said…
Troubled times for America as we see very disturbing coverage on the news over here. I always try to find positives in everything, but I'm finding this difficult with what I'm witnessing. I pray that solutions will appear and peace will remain. I can't help thinking that to own a gun means that you must be prepared to use it. That's unthinkable to so many people over here.
Take care and find comfort wherever you can find it.
On a lighter note your entry to the SS competition is great. Good luck!
Maura said…
Your peace dove is beautiful Arnaldo, in your lovely album. We certainly need more of this in our lives. Thanks for joining us at Simon Says Stamp for the Monday challenge! Hugs, Maura
I was so interested in what you were writing that I had to go back and look at your wonderful art work! Your daughter's words, and your final words, are ones to focus upon! Thank you for joining us at Try It On Tuesday!Chrisx
A very moving post Arnoldo. If everyone followed Love your Neighbor, whether or not they owned guns, there would be no violence, and no need to use them. I pray often that everyone find, love, and serve God, but it seems more and more are moving away from Him, and serving only themselves. It's so sad, especially when our own government shuns the Lord, and so many children these days are not taught the right way. It's so very devastating, and just plain scary to think about the future, of not only our country, but the world. But, I firmly believe God is in control, and all of this is happening for a reason. Those of us that believe must keep on praying, and try to lead others to Him. Bless you and yours...and wonderful art too.
Mandy said…
Oh wow Arnoldo your artwork is amazing! So many wonderful details to look at, and your mom's card is so cute.
Those are very wise words from your daughter & I truly hope that peace can be found for all my American friends.
Thanks for joining us at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge
Mandy xx
Beautiful art. And I love thinking about all the blessings we each get in life. Its very easy to overlook them and get self involved, isn't it? I think your topic choice was really smart. Erika
carol l mckenna said…
Nothing new under the sun ~ been going on for centuries ~ I hope for Peace every day and wonder if we will 'ever learn' ~ I am not perfect and have learned to forgive and that it is all good and we are all one ~

Your art work is divine ~ wishing you a peaceful and loving week ~

Happy Week to you ~ ^_^
jill said…
Lovely art work on your desk . A lot of bad things have happen recently on America & my heart goes out to all that have been effected by the tragedy's.
Happy woyww Jill #7
Lunch Lady Jan said…
Beautiful words that should be read by everyone - the most important thing in life is to be kind. Your artwork was equally lovely, especially the dove of peace, I really liked that :-)
HUgs, LLJ xx
Trubes said…
Interesting texts from the bible which I thoroughly endorse.
I do love deconstructing texts from the bible and seeing how others interpret them. I used to attend bible classes as a youngster but didn't fully
understand it all... now I do!
Gorgeous artwork yet again Arnoldo,
Blessings my friend,
ABCW team.
MelodyK said…
heartwarming post!!!

You know... many people say ' its what Gods wants ' when things happen which make our life more difficult... but I always reject that.
I say : "Youre eyes are to troubled to see what He realy wants.... The only thing He wants for you is to lead a life filled with love... and for you to understand that He blesses you...even when you don't feel it like that...Blessings in disguise..."

I think.... if we put more trust into Him, with all we feel, the good and the bad... He understands and leads us the way, if only we are fully prepared to put our feet on it..

Have a nice abc-w-day / - week
♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)
Glenda said…
Very encouraging post. Thanks so much for sharing. Glenda #27
dmgarafalo said…
Great Homily. Great Art work as well. Thanks for sharing both. xoxox donna #16
Lynne Mizera said…
Eloquent, Powerful and timely... You should be very proud. Thanks for sharing this bit of yourself with all of us... Scrapbooking Artist Lynne Mizera WOYWW #39
Su-sieee! Mac said…
Your words are ones to take to heart. My feeling is that once we can become less materialistic, we have a greater chance at having faith and knowing peace.
Sharon Madson said…
Your posts are always so touching, and thought provoking, as is your beautiful artwork. Thanks for posting and sharing. #48
The Good Samaritan is such a great story, especially the parts where the others pass the victim by before the foreigner does God's work.

~*~Patty S said…
Thank you for sharing such a relevant and moving post with us.
Your artwork is always inspiring as well.
Brightest of Blessings...
Love is Love is Love is ♥
okienurse said…
awesome art work! Thanks for sharing it! Vickie #46
GalleryJuana said…
brilliant entry for the sunday sketches avatar! thank you for your visit and comment on my blog post.
peggy gatto said…
It is so much easier to comfort and help and love than it is to ignore! A very lovely post, thank you!
sirkkis said…
Thank you for this great post full of beauty and wise words ❤
Valerie-Jael said…
I was already here so I'll just say Happy PPF, Valerie
Giggles said…
I Love your daughter, we share sentiments verbatim! This powerful post made me cry! You are such a beautiful writer, your message is abundantly clear through all denominations! Such brave poignant words, a beautiful sermon! We need more love,kindness and understanding! Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!! Love the beautiful photo of the women in your life! Love the dress on the left it looks like a Romero Britto art piece! Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your heART once again!

Hugs Giggles
Sandy said…
Beautiful collage of the dove. Good to catch up with you.
PPF Vicki-Ann

Faye said…
Great looking art, Arnoldo, and a wonderful homily. I was impressed by what your daughter said about it being obvious what is right or wrong. However, in today's society the line has been horribly blurred. Maybe if we begin to see better as you suggested, we can sharpen that line better.
Linda Kunsman said…
a gorgeous collection of art projects! Arnoldo, your homily is spot on and so eloquently said. thank you for sharing it. Blessed week to you and yours!
Alicia C said…
I adore your art, as usual! But how exciting to be able to serve your churhc in that capacity!! I bet it was super inspiring
Lisabella Russo said…
Your daughter if very sweet and wise. I enjoyed reading your thoughts and seeing your art.
I really enjoyed learning a bit more about you. I wasn't aware that you're a worship leader...did I miss that somehow?! I used to lead worship quite a few years ago in our evening services. It was so wonderful and enriching to the spirit. Thank you for your SS logo contest contribution. I love it! SO many great ones submitted. :)
artbyjune said…
Beautiful art pages! Good Samaritan, lovely story!
Jennifer Rose said…
I am not a religious person but I imagine it is an honor to be asked to do that, so good for you :)
My prayers are for peace within this world that is so full of violence right now. I loved reading your post and seeing your amazing works of art, Arnoldo.
Kirsty Vittetoe said…
The world is getting sick, we really need more LOVE! Thanks for sharing your beautiful art too!
sheila 77 said…
Wonderful words, Arnoldo, and ones I will think about. We need Love and Kindness, more and more. I totally missed your art while I was reading the words so had to go back.
Your playbook looks terrific with the depth of colour and the painting of the bird and the cross, love both of the pages and your birthday card is made in a different style and looks great too.
Thanks for this.
Hi I am finally making it around to see some desks before a new week starts again. This world is so out of wack. Praying for peace. XXPeg R
Faye said…
I really got a lot from your homily, Arnoldo. Good job.