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Showing posts from July, 2010

The secret of prayer

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luke 11:1-13
Raise your hand if you are confident that you know how to pray.  If you know for sure what prayer is and how to do it, put your hand up there.
The disciples want to know how to pray. Teach us how. Tell us why. Show us the what to do. We see you praying to God and you seem to know what you’re doing, we want this too.  And who doesn’t? We’re supposed to be people of prayer, but who really knows how to pray? What do we say?  What is it ok to pray for?  How do we do it the right way? How do we get God to listen?  Do we have to believe that what we pray for will happen? Is it selfish to ask for things we want, should we only pray for other people?  Do we ask God to fix situations or to help us accept them as they are?  If we ask God to fix things does that mean we are putting the work on God instead of ourselves?  When should we pray?  If we are not praying all the time, regularly, is it ok to pray in a crisis?  What if we really want to pray for something we know can’t happen, wh…

The Good Lawyer and the Merciful Samaritan

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Luke 10:25-37
This week we witnessed the scripture passage reenacted - as a conversation between the lawyer and Jesus.  Then the congregation together finished the “sermon” through a small group reflection exercise that will be described at the end of this.

So, who is my neighbor? The cocky lawyer first comes to question Jesus with his provocative and vague non-question – “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”  But Jesus doesn’t take the bait – and he has the man answer himself first from scripture – what is the answer you already know? “Love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.“ “Right answer!” Jesus says, “Do that and you’ll live!”
But the man comes back to Jesus and presses him, parses it out, clarifies it, seeing just how far he can take this paradigm.  How can we use the law to define and limit our responsibility? 
And Jesus tells him this story: A man is in need of help.  The priest doesn’t help him, the levite doesn’t …