NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, JULY 10, 2022
This Sunday is the 5th Sunday After Pentecost. I will begin my first of a 3-part series on Covenant’s Vision Statement. Our vision statement is – “To be an inclusive community of faith – Offering Hope + Showing Faithfulness + Sharing Joy.”
In the first sermon we consider “Offering Hope.” The lectionary assigned text for this sermon comes from Luke 10, Jesus’ very familiar story of the Good Samaritan.
In this story of “Offering Hope” Jesus is not just saying that everyone in the whole world is our neighbor; in making the Samaritan the hero of this story Jesus is emphasizing the radical inclusion of what it means to consider everyone as our neighbor. “Offering Hope” is a grace we, as followers of Christ, are to extend to everyone and that grace is what lifts us to our best selves.
Eugene Peterson says, “parables are narrative time bombs designed to explode people into new awareness.” If so, then metaphorically, this Good Samaritan parable is one with a piece of shrapnel that is designed to tear into the notion that legalism and the law is the way to live in communion with God and in community with our “neighbors.”
The Samaritan who reaches out “offering hope” did not do so because of the law; but as an act of grace. To emphasize the point Jesus ends His conversation with the person who spurned Jesus telling this parable to begin with by saying “Go and do likewise.”
No name is given for the “Good Samaritan” in Jesus’ story, but we still remember and talk about his act of grace in “offering hope” 2000 years after Jesus first told the story. You probably don’t know the name Henry Darby either, but join us for worship this Sunday, IN-PERSON, by Zoom or Facebook Livestream, to hear his story of “Offering Hope” in my sermon, it will be “THE VISION IS STILL … OFFERING HOPE” Or “GO AND DO LIKEWISE” based on Luke 10:25-37.