Sin is nothing new…sin simply places our will above Gods Will … sin pulls us away from God.
As God’s importance in our lives grow, sin is WEAKENED AND LESSEN – and vice versa.
God and Sin (Satan) are not friends as they are opposites –
this is why in Gen 3 God speaks of an enmity (a hatred) between the two.
Briefly, I want to discuss, from the Gospel reading, the two (The Priest and Levite) who passed by the wounded man.
In The Revelation of St. John the Divine…chapter two…
Jesus tells the church in Ephesus, “for my name sake hast “thou” labored” and yet; Jesus says, that “they have left their “first love” …
thus He will remove “their” candlestick – except they repent.
Just as the Priest and Levite have done as they too have lost, what is to be, their first love.
Love your God and your neighbor.
This Priest and Levite who pass by would have been in their churches (the synagogue) often,
but we see their hearts had grown away from God and had become hardened.
Therefore if our “worship” does not feed our heart, soul, and minds, then too, our hearts will be hardened, day by day.
Thus the importance of our staying fixed upon Jesus Christ.
In Anglican Worship we must receive the Word and Sacraments of His Church worthily…
and this, not every once in a while, but often.
They both (Word and Sacrament) feed us; they give us the strength to give ourselves to God,
Which allows us to grow in His righteousness and His wisdom.
Last week, Fr. George spoke of the word: EPH / PHA / THA –
to “BE OPENED”….
This morning’s Gospel of the “Good Samaritan Parable” reveals to us the differences between those who are “opened” to God and His Grace,
and those who are not…including the Priest and the Levite.
We must never forget that loving God and Neighbor, as we are told in Scripture, is required for inheriting “eternal life.”
The man questioning Jesus asks the question “who is my neighbor?”
Jesus then gives us the popular and well known parable of the Good Samaritan.
At the end Jesus tells the inquirer “Go and do likewise”
…. So we too.
THE GOOD SAMARITANS COMPASSION:
The Greek word for compassion has as its meaning:
the “middle voice to yearn, to feel sympathy, or to have pity:
Also, “to be moved” (to have compassion on others.)
So we are to be “opened” (ephphatha) to God grace – and we are to be moved by His love for each one of us –
We must Allow His Grace and His Will to work within our inner being (our Heart, soul, and mind.)
S0, we are to be at war against sin, as it blocks out God’s desire for us, as we become slaves to our “busy lives.”
With this compassion, we must open “ephphatha” our hearts
so as to move us,
as the Good Samaritan was moved – – – we are to Go as the Samarian WENT TO HIM:
Picture the scene with me, as the good Samaritan surely first enquired of this poor man’s terrible condition (are you OK),
I can assure you spoke kindly, and assured him, that he (was OK,)
He would have encouraged him in his time of need (relax you are OK.)
I would bet you, that as this Good Samaritan had compassion, that he would have kneeled down beside him and prayed for God’s mercy.
The Good Samaritan, BOUNDs UP HIS WOUNDS and provides first aid,
even using his own linen to protect the wound, and he poured in oil and wine,
Washing and oiling, to heal the wound.
Here we see the Good Samaritans heart full of compassion because he was opened to God words and he was moved..
He then sets him on his own beast, meaning he went on foot himself.
Although he surely had his own business to do, the Good Samaritan was not too busy (as many of us today.)
And then gave two pence to the landlord, and gave his word to repay, if it be more (he put it on his VISA.)
This was as kind and generous, and as much as one could have expected … from a friend or a brother;
and yet here it is done by a stranger and foreigner.
So let me ask you – why is this parable given to us?
Why is Scripture given to us?
Is this stuff really important?
Importantly, does it have an impact upon our lives?
Can these words form a picture of how God expects us to be?
If so, is it important enough to pass along to our children and grandchildren?
I ask you this; for if it be not, then we are wasting our time and energy here this morning.
I am sure we all have things to do today, things more entertaining that provide enjoyment,
some may have things to do that are demanded by their secular work.
And yet, if these words are important and true,
Why are we not in Christ’s Church every week, or even more often?
Even more important – why are not our children in Church every week.
Why do we as parents and grandparents allow our children to be slack to God; and yet, “all in” to things of this secular world?
These are serious questions, especially for “a people” lost, within the conflict and confusion of, a world that knows not right from wrong,
a world which seems to justify any action, regardless of its hatefulness and wretchedness.
It is our duty to God, each one of us, to put this world in its proper place,
for if we do not, then this world will kill – us with false promises – which build false desires –
a false temporary happiness which is shadow.
Each of us must understand the importance of seeking and striving for “His” World.
Even if we do it not perfectly; yet, we must still do.
We must understand, and acknowledge by doing, His importance in our lives,
thus we must give Him the time that we so often deny Him.
Unfortunately, instead of Him we give to this world.
His is a world that will not fail you…
His is a world of calm and order (even in the midst of confusion)…
His is a world of TRUE BEING –
OF US BECOMING AND BEING
what WE Were Designed To Be…
A HOLY PEOPLE –
SET ASIDE FOR HIM.
Come unto Him, all ye that travail and heavy laden, and become refreshed