Thought for the Week 15thJuly 2019
The night has passed, and the day lies open before us, let us pray with one heart and mind.
The candle is lit
Silence is held to reflect on the day ahead to pray for yourself and others
As we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of your presence O God, Set our hearts on fire with love for you now and for ever
Week Beginning: Monday 15th July 2019.
We are still in Ordinary Time & the readings follow on from the last few weeks and are excellent for starting the holidays.
The first reading or Epistle is Colossians 1. 1-14. This was 1 of 4 short letters that Paul wrote whilst he was in prison. They are thus poignant. He was facing tremendous hardship, pain and difficulty himself & yet writes encouragingly to the fledgling church families hundreds of miles away with his faith in Christ intact!
The second text or Gospel is Luke 10. 25-37. This is the story of The Good Samaritan, which was pre-figured in our last Spiritual Quote about ‘Loving our neighbour’. It is so well known that hopefully it should be easy going to make references to life here in school & our Christian ‘Vision’ of how then do we live with God working with us, and through us.
Paul was writing a warm, encouraging letter to another early church family within the new created order. Yes, they need to learn more about the tenets of the faith but all that would come in time. Meanwhile, again we have reference to the seeds of faith being planted in the hearts of the family and producing good fruits. The main claim he is making that the new family continually grow together in thankfulness. They have moved from the darkness of the old way of living and are now an integral part of the ‘saints in light’. There are echoes of the Exodus story throughout, where God kept his promises/covenants with His people. God is once again rescuing the whole created order through the grace He has given to His Son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit was and is always a unifying force and, a living force in the world.
Paul is trying to explain the unexplainable really, the nature of God! He points out that people ‘invent’ Gods of their own, who are given human characteristics such as vengeance, disinterested and fickle. Paul is saying that this is not the case at all. There is a loving faithfulness and the widest generosity beyond our wildest dreams! Let us all try to focus on loving our neighbours, starting with our own families!
Colossians 1. 1-14
The Letter of Paul to the Colossians
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Paul Thanks God for the Colossians
In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow-servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The previous slides show Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Delacroix amongst hundreds of images of this parable. We can forget the shocking impact it would have had on those first hearers so ubiquitous it is today. Samaritans and Jews had hated each other for hundreds of years as each felt that they were the true heirs of God’s promise to Abraham. (nb. The early church was nearly riven by attitudes towards ‘purity’ and ‘ethnicity’) Those first hearers would have justified the actions of the priest and the Levite, who would not want to defile themselves by touching a possible corpse on the way to pray. When Jesus said the dreaded word Samaritan they would have expected something like the following: “But a Samaritan, when he saw him, welcomed the opportunity to burnish his reputation and ingratiate himself with his hostile neighbours. So he went to him, bound up his wounds with unsterile cloth and poured over contaminated oil, then set him on his own beast, which, because of the man’s spinal injuries, caused permanent paralysis.” (Roger Spiller 2018) The lawyer who asked this question of Jesus publicly was looking for precise definitions & was ‘playing to the gallery’ of public opinion/received wisdom. Jesus answered clearly but blew apart the secure world view! The love of God is for everybody throughout the world. “Christian Faith is often a matter of geography”. It is easy to love our neighbour if h/she is like us; how do we live and respond to the farmer and his daughter drowned trying to escape to a better life on the other side of the world? Does charity begin at home? What do we do & how do we live out the Gospel message?
Luke 10. 25-37
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’
Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
You might find the you tube clips interesting in relation to the above narration.
The first clip below is a 3 min animated retelling of the story:
The second clip shows MLK retelling the story is 5 mins:
The third clip is a modern day take of the story is 3 mins:
The fourth clip is a ‘social experiment’ around the story 2mins:
Thanks to the Rev Ali Healy for the "thought for the week"
If this has given rise to any questions regarding your faith, please contact us through the contact link on the first page of this web site.
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE WILL BE HAVING A BREAK DURING THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS AND THOUGHT
FOR THE WEEK WILL RECOMMENCE IN SEPTEMBER