Weekly Church Service – Pentecost 13: 8 September 2019


Sentence:

Whoever does not carry the cross and follow Jesus cannot be his disciple.                                                                                   Luke 14:27


Collect of the day

God of the ages, you call the Church to keep watch in the world and to discern the signs of the times: grant us the wisdom that your Spirit
bestows,so that with courage we may proclaim your prophetic word,
and complete the work you have set before us;
through your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 


Today’s readings

  • Jeremiah 18:1-11
  • Psalm 139:1-5, 12-18
  • Phil 1-25
  • Luke 14:25-35

next week

  • Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
  • Psalm 14
  • 1 Tim 1
  • Luke 15:1-10

A thought to ponder upon

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

The parables of the tower and the king preparing for war:  
“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple . . . Anyone who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”


Today’s Gospel is the beginning of a treatise, unique to Luke’s Gospel, on the nature and demands of discipleship.

Jesus’ sobering words in today’s Gospel are meant to make us fully aware of the cost of discipleship before we embrace something we are not prepared for.  The gift of grace comes at the price of the same cross awaiting Jesus in Jerusalem.

Some translations of today’s Gospel ascribe rather harsh words to Jesus: in some texts, Jesus speaks of “turning one’s back” on family; in other translations, the verb “hate” is used.  A more precise translation of the idiom here is whoever prefers the love of family or self to Christ cannot be his follower.

The images of the unfinished tower and the king poorly prepared for battle illustrate the frustration and ultimate failure of the disciple who does not give himself/herself totally to the Gospel.  When a follower of Jesus begins to hold anything back in imitating Christ, discipleship becomes a charade.

Jesus calls us to seek reconciliation rather than dominance, to love and forgive without limit or condition, to give totally and completely regardless of the cost or sacrifice.  Such is the cross Jesus asks us to take up.

As the tower builder and the king preparing for war discover, our days are limited – too limited to squander on obsessing about things at the expense of our relationships with family and friends.  Jesus challenges us to live every moment of our lives as a time for preparation and “planning” for much greater and lasting things than this world of ours offers.

Often, we refuse to “let go” of things that are making our lives so much less than we want them to be.  The gifts of God can only be grasped with the open hands of humility and prayer; the grasping hands of materialism and self-centeredness condemn us to a life of emptiness.

We tend to think of the crosses we bear as disorders, complications, disappointments – even people – we are forced to endure.  But, in reality, God lays upon our shoulders crosses – talents, abilities, skills, gifts – that can be sources of hope, of joy, of discovery, of life, of resurrection — for ourselves and others.                                              © Connections/MediaWorks

Sermon Audio

The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches from the text after the gospel reading.

  •     Pentecost 13

You can download a copy of the Pew Sheet here

Weekly Church Service – Pentecost 12: 1 September 2019


Sentence:

All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.                                               Luke 14:11


Collect of the day

O God, you invite the humble and the sinful to take their place in the festive assembly of the new covenant; teach your Church always to honour the presence of the Lord so that we may learn to recognize each other as brothers and sisters gathered together around your table.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen


Today’s readings

  • Jeremiah 2:4-13
  • Psalm 81: 1, 10-16
  • Heb 13:1-8, 15-16
  • Luke 14:1, 7-14

next week

  • Jeremiah 18:1-11
  • Psalm 139:1-5, 12-18
  • Phil 1-25
  • Luke 14:25-35

A thought to ponder upon

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted . . .“When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.

Gospel humility (a key theme of Luke’s Gospel) is not a religious sado-masochism motivated by self-hatred or obsequiousness. As taught by Christ, humility is an awareness of who we are before God; of our constant need for God and our dependence on God for everything; of the limitlessness of God’s love and forgiveness. The Jesus of the Gospel, “who, though in the form of God, humbled himself . . . accepting even death on the cross” is the perfect model of the humble servant of God.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus calls us to embrace the attitude of seeking out the “lowest places” at table for the sake of others, promising that at the banquet of heaven God will exalt such humility. In teaching us to invite to our tables “those who cannot repay you,” Jesus challenges us to imitate the love of God: doing what is right, good and just for the joy of doing so, not out of a sense of duty, self-interest or the need to feel superior or in control.

Humility is the virtue of suspending our own wants and needs in order to consciously seek God in all people and experiences. True humility is centred in the things of God – love, compassion, mercy, selflessness, tolerance and forgiveness.

The spirit of humility as taught by Jesus is not the diminishing of one’s self but the realization that we share with every human being the sacred dignity of being made in the image and likeness of God. To be humble as Christ teaches humility is to see one another as God sees us and to rejoice in being ministers to them in their joys and struggles.

The “lowest place” Jesus speaks of in today’s Gospel is more a matter of attitude than location, a question of generosity rather than place setting:  Jesus asks us to see one another from the perspective of Gospel humility that realizes that we are not the centre of all things but part of a much larger world and to embrace a spirit of Gospel-centred gratitude for all the blessings we have received, not because of anything we have done to deserve them, but only because of the complete and unconditional love of God for us.   

God’s banquet table includes places of honour for every poor, hurting, confused soul. At the Gospel banquet table, we are both guests and servers: We welcome and are welcomed as children of the same God and Father; as sons and daughters of God, we share equally in the bounty of this table; as brothers and sisters in Christ, we are responsible for the protection and maintenance of the vineyard given to us by our loving Father.
                                                                           © Connections/MediaWorks

Sermon Audio

The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches from the text after the gospel reading.

  •     Pentecost 12

You can download a copy of the Pew Sheet here

Weekly Church Service – Pentecost 11: 25 August 2019


Sentence:

You, O Lord, are my hope, my trust from my youth. Upon you have I leaned since my birth.                                                   Psalm 71:5-6 


Collect of the day

O God, the Judge of all,
through the saving blood of your Son
you have brought us to the heavenly Jerusalem
and given us a kingdom which cannot be shaken:
fill us with reverence and awe in your presence,
that in thanksgiving we and all your Church may
offer you acceptable worship;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives to intercede for us, now and for ever. Amen


Today’s readings

  • Isaiah 1:4-10
  • Psalm 71:1-6
  • Heb 12:18-29
  • Luke 13:10-17

next week

  • Jeremiah 2:4-13
  • Psalm 81: 1, 10-16
  • Heb 13:1-8, 15-16
  • Luke 14:1, 7-14

A thought to ponder upon

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Jesus cures a crippled woman on the Sabbath:  “ . . . ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for 18 years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” 

The curing of the crippled woman on the Sabbath is found only in Luke’s Gospel (though Jesus performs similar miracles on the Sabbath in the other Gospels).  In this account, Jesus defies the sensibilities of the synagogue leader and cures a crippled woman on the Sabbath day.  In reprimanding Jesus, the elder argues that healing is a form of work and that any form of work profanes the Lord’s Day.  Jesus counters that the healing of this woman – a manifestation of God’s compassion – does not defame the Lord’s Day but sanctifies it. The official has become so obsessed with adhering to the letter of the law that he is unable to embrace the spirit of the law.   

In the healing of this woman – poor, sick, marginalized and female – Jesus again (as he does throughout Luke’s Gospel) proclaims that God’s reign has dawned and belongs not to the rich but to the people of the Beatitudes: the meek, the humble, the lowly, the suffering, the struggling. 

Jesus’ healing of the woman does not undermine the holiness of the Sabbath – on the contrary, the healing irrevocably links Sabbath prayer and ritual to the unlimited and unconditional mercy of God .

The healing Christ has entrusted us, who would be his disciples, with the work of God: compassion and forgiveness, reconciliation and justice, healing and peace. 

To be healed requires change, to consciously move beyond your own pain and to embrace the pain of others, to see beyond the bad we are experiencing to find the good, to refuse to be swallowed up in hopelessness and rediscover reasons to hope.  As Jesus says to the crippled woman, “you are set free of your ailment.”  While the pain does not disappear, the grace of God “frees” us to transform our lives and find new purpose in our broken but still very much meaningful lives.                                                                         © Connections/MediaWorks 

Sermon Audio

The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches from the text after the gospel reading.

  •     Pentecost 11

You can download a copy of the Pew Sheet here

Weekly Church Service – Pentecost 10: 18 August 2019


Sentence:

‘Is not my word like fire,’ says the Lord, ‘and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?’                                                   Jeremiah 23:29 


Collect of the day

Everliving God,
increase in us your gift of faith,
that, forsaking sin and all that hinders us,
we may run with perseverance the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever. Amen


Today’s readings

  • Isaiah 5:1-7
  • Psalm 80: 1-2, 8-19
  • Heb 11:29-12:2
  • Luke 12:49-59

next week

  • Jeremiah 1:4-10
  • Psalm 71:1-6
  • Heb 12:18-29
  • Luke 13:10-17

A thought to ponder upon

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already ablaze . . . Do you think that I have come to establish peace on earth?  No, I tell you, but rather division.”

When Luke wrote these few lines of his Gospel, Christians were living through difficult times and circumstances.  In many places they were treated with ridicule, disdain and intolerance.  Jesus’ words are addressed to them and to all Christians who have paid dearly for living their faith in their time and place.

Fire is a Scriptural symbol of judgment.  The Lord will judge the hearts of all men and women in the light of the Gospel’s “blaze.”

The word used in the original text that reads here as baptism actually means a “plunging,” a total submersion.  Jesus continues on to Jerusalem where he will be “plunged” into the Passover of the new covenant into which, through baptism, we will all be “plunged,” as well.

The Gospel is not a soft, easy message to embrace. Jesus does not sugarcoat his message:  Families and households will be divided over the hard demands of the Gospel of reconciliation, justice and servanthood.

The compassion, the selflessness, the humility, the justice that Jesus demands of those who would be his disciples are a “fire” and “baptism” through which we transform our world in the life and love of God.  The challenge of discipleship, Jesus teaches, is not to let God’s word of justice and mercy divide us but to realise the word’s ability to bring all humanity together as God’s holy people.

To live the Gospel faithfully is to become a contradiction to those around us, to seek to attain a higher ethical and moral standard in confronting life’s challenges.  The Gospel calls us to risk power, prestige and even acceptance to stand up for the equality, justice, compassion and reconciliation that every individual possesses by virtue of being a son and daughter of God.

The Gospel of Jesus is not easy, it is not comfortable; it is challenging and demanding and, in its call for personal conversion, it can be divisive and confrontational.  Discipleship is not without cost; balancing the Gospel of unconditional, reconciling love and its ethical and moral imperatives with the reality of our lives is very difficult.  Despite the divisive consequences, Christ calls us to the hard work of seeking the mercy and justice of God and living his Gospel of reconciliation and peace in our own time and place, regardless of the cost. In the divisions we suffer, in the contradictions we encounter, in the disconnect between the conventional wisdom and the wisdom of God, the love of God is the one constant that brings us back to one another, that heals the rifts, that bridges that divides between us.  
    
  © Connections/MediaWorks

Sermon Audio

The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches from the text after the gospel reading.

NO AUDIO THIS WEEK

You can download a copy of the Pew Sheet here

Weekly Church Service – Pentecost 9: 11 August 2019


Sentence:

Watch and be ready, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.                                                                      Matthew 24:42, 44


Collect of the day

Kindle in our hearts, Father,
the same faith that impelled Abraham
to set out from his home
and to live as a pilgrim in a foreign land.
As we, like him, look for the city
that none but you can design and build,
keep us watchful for your Son’s coming,
that we may be found faithful stewards
of all that you have entrusted to us.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Today’s readings

  • Isaiah 1:1, 10-20
  • Psalm 50: 1-8, 23-24
  • Heb 11:1-3, 8-16
  • Luke 12:13-21

next week

  • Isaiah 5:1-7
  • Psalm 80: 1-2, 8-19
  • Heb 11:29-12:2
  • Luke 12:49-59

A thought to ponder upon

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

The parable of foolish servant awaiting his master’s return:  
“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be … “You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come … “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

Three short parables about the treasures of the reign of God are the central images of today’s Gospel:

Death comes to us like a “thief” in the night, Jesus tells his listeners; therefore, we must always be ready to meet the Lord and enter his “kingdom” with “belts tightened” and through works of charity.  The first generations of Christians read this parable as an indication that Christ would return in their lifetimes, in the middle of the great Paschal night.

Jesus frequently speaks of the coming reign of his Father as a wedding feast to which all of the faithful are invited.  Luke includes the image in his Gospel, as well, with an interesting twist:  Those who have embraced the spirit of servanthood taught by Jesus the Master will be served by the Master himself at his table in heaven.  Jesus targets the parable to the leaders of the Jewish establishment who have used their positions to advance their own prestige and wealth at the expense of the people they were appointed to serve.  While God casts out the exploiters from his kingdom, the faithful leader-servants will be served by the Messiah himself at God’s great banquet.

The third parable is Luke’s version of Jesus’ story of the watchful steward who faithfully conducts the responsibilities entrusted to him by his master.   This life on earth is a time that has been entrusted to us by God be about the business of preparing for the life of the world to come.

We are all called to be “faithful and prudent servants” of the abilities and resources that the “master” has entrusted to us and for which he will hold us accountable — not for the breadth and depth of those gifts but for what we have done with those gifts for the sake of the kingdom of God.  

While we pay little or no attention to the reality that one day we will die and carry on as if we will live forever, the fact is that life is fragile and fleeting.  If we have truly embraced the spirit of the Gospel, we are always conscious of the brevity of this life and live our days in joyful anticipation of the next.

God has entrusted to each one of us with our own gifts, talents and blessings not for our own uses and aims but to selflessly and lovingly use them for the benefit of others, without counting the cost or demanding a return.  The faithful disciple will lovingly use whatever he or she possesses to bring God’s reign of hope, justice and compassion to reality in this time and place of ours.

Leadership is not a matter of exerting power to intimidate or enrich one’s own situation; leadership is the ability to inspire and enable others to do what is right, just and good.  Christ-like leadership is, first and foremost, is centered in an attitude of service to those we lead.        
                        © Connections/MediaWorks

Sermon Audio

The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches from the text after the gospel reading.

  •     Pentecost 9

You can download a copy of the Pew Sheet here

Weekly Church Service – Pentecost 8: 4 August 2019


Sentence:

If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Colossians 3:1  


Collect of the day

Living God, Judge of us all,
you have placed in our hands the wealth
we call our own:
through your Spirit give us wisdom,
that our possessions may not be a curse,
but a means of blessing in our lives.
Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity
of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen


Today’s readings

  • Hosea 11:1-11
  • Psalm 107:1-9, 43
  • Col 3:1-11
  • Luke 12:13-21

next week

  • Isaiah 1:1, 10-20
  • Psalm 50: 1-8, 23-24
  • Heb 11:1-3, 8-16
  • Luke 12:13-21

A thought to ponder upon

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost – Luke 12:13-21

The parable of the foolish rich man: “’You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’”

Rabbis were often asked to arbitrate conflicts within families and communities. In today’s Gospel, Jesus has been approached to settle such an argument over an inheritance. Jesus responds not by taking sides but by addressing the greed that has brought both sides to near blows. He tells the parable of the rich man who, in the midst of his good fortune, loses his sense of what is really important. Possessions create the illusion that we can control our lives; the drive for gain makes us oblivious to the needs and dreams of others. The “foolish” rich man in today’s Gospel sadly discovers that wealth in the reign of God has nothing to do with stock portfolios, bank accounts or the social register.

We tend to live our lives believing that there will always be enough time to right our wrongs and to atone for our negligence and insensitivities to others – but, in fact, our days are numbered, death is an inevitability for all of us.  

We are often as short-sighted as the rich farmer in today’s Gospel: we can become so self-centred and self-sufficient that we shut ourselves off from the seemingly simple aspects of life in which we find the love and presence of God.  Faith is the constant awareness that life is not a destination in itself but a journey to God and that death is the final passageway.

Our lives are not about amassing fortunes or achieving great celebrity – our lives are about finding and embracing selfless and affirming love, about discovering how to love one another as God loves us: totally and completely, without condition nor limit. Today’s Gospel is more than an indictment of wanton consumerism; it’s a challenge to consider how we use things, the value we place on “stuff.”  Jesus calls us to take an inventory of our lives and the things that “clutter” them and refocus on the treasures of God: compassion, mercy, forgiveness, peace.                                             

Sermon Audio

The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches from the text after the gospel reading.

  •     Pentecost 8

You can download a copy of the Pew Sheet here

Weekly Church Service – Pentecost 7: 28 July 2019


Sentence:

Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.   Luke 11:9


Collect of the day

Provident Father,
with the prayer your Son taught us
always on our lips, we ask, we seek,
we knock at your door: help us so to seek
that we may truly find,
so to ask that we may joyfully receive,
and so to knock that the door of mercy
may be opened for us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Today’s readings

  • Hosea 1:2-10
  • Psalm 85
  • Col 2:6-15
  • Luke 11:14-28

next week

  • Hosea 11:1-11
  • Psalm 107:1-9, 43
  • Col 3:1-11
  • Luke 12:13-21

A thought to ponder upon

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost – Luke 11:1-13

“When you pray, say, Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come …”

In today’s reading from Luke’s Gospel, the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray. What is important to grasp is not the words of the prayer (Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer is shorter and more concise than Matthew’s version), but the attitude of prayer Jesus teaches. To pray is not to impose our will on God but to ask God to make us open to his will; in other words, we pray not to change God’s mind but for God to change ours.

Authentic prayer, as taught by Jesus and contained in the Lord’s Prayer, has three elements:

acknowledging the goodness and love of God: Jesus teaches us to call God “Father.” God is not the cosmic tyrant out of whom gifts have to be extracted through humiliating pleading; God is the loving eternal Parent who delights in providing for his children’s needs.

asking that we may do God’s will: Prayer worthy of God asks for the grace to do the work he calls us to do (forgiveness, reconciliation, justice), to become the people he calls us to become (brothers and sisters under our heavenly Father).

voicing our hope in the providence of God: We come before God knowing that, just as parents will provide for their children a good friend will aid another friend, God will hear our prayers and provide us with what we need. Even if it seems as if our prayers are unanswered, we live with the confident faith that the God hears and responds in ways that assure us of his presence in our lives.

We often approach prayer as if we are trying to wring gifts from an unwilling God; in fact, we come before a God who knows our needs better than we do ourselves.
Authentic prayer is not a formula or ritual but an awareness of God’s presence in our lives, of God’s hand as sustainer and nurturer of creation, of God’s love giving breath to every moment of our existence.

Prayer is to realize the connection between the compassion of God and the love we experience in our lives, between God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness we extend, between the holy creativity of God and the work we do for our daily bread. © Connections/MediaWorks  

Sermon Audio

The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches from the text after the gospel reading.

  •     Pentecost 7


You can download a PDF of this weeks pew sheet https://greenwoodanglican.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Pew-Sheet-Pentecost-6C.pdf

Weekly Church Service – Pentecost 6: 21 July 2019


Sentence:

In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be your strength.   Isaiah 30:16


Collect of the day

Eternal God,
you draw near to us in Christ
and make yourself our guest:
amid the cares of our daily lives,
make us attentive to your voice and alert to your
presence, that we may treasure your word above
all else. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity
of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.


Today’s readings

  • Amos 8:1-12
  • Psalm 52
  • Col 1:15-29
  • Luke 10:38-42

next week

  • Hosea 1:2-10
  • Psalm 85
  • Col 2:6-15
  • Luke 11:14-28

A thought to ponder upon

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost – Luke 10:38-42

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.  There is need of only one thing.  Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

The sisters Martha and Mary mirror the two expressions of the disciple’s call: loving service to others (Martha) and prayer and contemplation (Mary).  But as Martha comes to realize in today’s Gospel, discipleship begins with hearing the Word of God, with opening our hearts and spirits to the presence of God.

We are all like Martha in our own anxiety over making all the pieces fit; we obsess about the details and peripherals at the expense of the important and lasting.  “The better part” embraced by Mary transcends the pragmatic and practical concerns of the everyday and sees the hand of God in all things; the “better part” is to realize the gratitude all of creation owes its loving Creator for the gift of life.

With so many agendas demanding our time and attention, Jesus calls us to consciously choose and seek out “the better part”: to make a place in our lives for the joy and love of family and friends that is the presence of God. It is a motto of Benedictine monasteries around the world: “Let all be received here as would Christ” (The Rule of St. Benedict, chapter 53).  Like Abraham’s welcome of the three strangers (today’s first reading from Genesis 18) and the welcome Martha, Mary and Lazarus extend to Jesus in Bethany, hospitality is not only a holy responsibility but also a joyful opportunity to welcome and serve Jesus in the persons those who come to our tables.
© Connections/MediaWorks  

Sermon Audio

The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches from the text after the gospel reading.

  •     Pentecost 6


You can download a PDF of this weeks pew sheet https://greenwoodanglican.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Pew-Sheet-Pentecost-6C.pdf

Weekly Church Service – Pentecost 5: 14 July 2019


Sentence:

Do to others as you would have them do to you. Love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.     Luke 6:31, 35


Collect of the day

Eternal God,
you have taught us through Christ
that love is the fulfilment of the law:
help us to love you with all our heart, with all
our soul, with all our mind, and with all our
strength, and our neighbour as ourself;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Today’s readings

  • Amos 7:7-17
  • Psalm 82
  • Col 1:1-14
  • Luke 10:25-37

next week

  • Amos 8:1-12
  • Psalm 52
  • Col 1:15-29
  • Luke 10:38-42

A thought to ponder upon

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost – Luke 10:25-37

The parable of the Good Samaritan: “ . . . a Samaritan traveller who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight.”

A lawyer’s question about who is – and, by implication, who is not– one’s neighbour sets the stage for one of Jesus’ most beloved parables, the story of the Good Samaritan (found only in Luke’s Gospel).  Jesus stuns his hearers by making a Samaritan the hero of the story – especially in light of the inhospitality of the Samaritans during their journey to Jerusalem (the Gospel for the 13th Sunday of Year).  Jesus’ hearers would expect a Samaritan to be the villain of the story, not the hero.  While the two clerics do not help the man for fear of violating the Torah by being defiled by the dead, the compassionate Samaritan – a man presumably with little concern for Jewish belief or morality – is so moved by the plight of the poor man that he thinks nothing of stopping to help regardless of the cost of time or money.  

The Jews of Jesus’ time defined “neighbour” exclusively as other Jews, but Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan expands such a limited concept.  One of the key principles of Christianity is the concept that all men and women are “neighbours”: children of the same heavenly Father, brothers and sisters in Christ.  The Samaritan and the traveller illustrate that Jesus’ concept of “neighbour” is not limited to one’s own clan or community.  Christ-like compassion must be manifested in deeds of kindness; morality, in the light of the Gospel, cannot be guided by laws inscribed in stone but ultimately by the spirit of the heart.

The Good Samaritan is the Gospel prototype of Gospel charity, of service to our “neighbour.”  “Good Samaritans” are, quite simply, people who recognize every human being as their neighbour and then permit nothing – not prejudices, stereotypes, complications or costs – prevent them from hearing their cry for help and responding to their plight.

The parable of the Good Samaritan calls us to embrace a vision of faith that sees every man, woman and child – regardless of whatever labels society has assigned to them – as our “neighbours.”  Christ teaches us, his disciples, to look beyond what divides us from one another and focus on what unites us; to put aside our own needs and wants to embrace the needs and wants of others; to see our own wealth as a means to bring healing and hope into the lives who have little. Every day, we encounter people who are in a ditch of discouragement, who have been beaten and bruised by the abuse and anger of others, who have been left near dead in frustrating hopelessness.  We don’t have to look very far to find such “victims” — and we can become Good Samaritans by extending to them compassion, understanding and a support. © Connections/MediaWorks  

Sermon Audio

The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches from the text after the gospel reading.

  •     Pentecost 5


You can download a PDF of this weeks pew sheet https://greenwoodanglican.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Pew-Sheet-Pentecost-5C.pdf

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