Neighbors and Fences
Sunday, February 19, 2017
A sermon by Rev. Jamie Washam
27 He answered, “‘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, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Eternal God, Rescuer of the weak:
given every reason to judge us, you seek justice for us.
You stand with the poor in the ditches
where we have discarded them.
You plant your Word of truth
in the One who gives us unexpected answers.
Jesus Christ, Word of Truth: you will not pass us by,
but stoop to lift us up and carry us out of our pain.
You love the faithful enough to tell us stories which shatter our complacency
and send us forth to carry mercy to others.
Holy Spirit, Giver of mercy:
you carry hope in your mouth and breathe it into our souls.
You take us by the hand,
leading us out of the ditches we have dug for ourselves,
into the brightly lit streets of the Realm of God.
You pray for us in every moment,
especially when we are unable to pray for ourselves.
God in Community, Holy in One,
draw near to us, as we draw near to you. Amen.