Worship Service – July 10, 2022

Scriptures; Luke 10:25-37 and Colossians 1:1-14


Luke 10:25-37

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

(25) On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
(26) “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
(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 fell into the hands of 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, took him to an inn and took care of him. (35) The next day he took out two silver coins 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.”

Colossians 1:1-14

(1) Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
(2) To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
(3) We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, bwhen we pray for you, (4) because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints– (5) the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel (6) that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. (7) You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, (8) and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
(9) For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. (10) And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, (11) being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully (12) giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. (13) For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, (14) in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

This is the word of God, for the people of God. Thanks be to God.

“Faith and love that spring from THE HOPE that is STORED up for you in heaven and that have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you.” (Colossians 1:5-6a)
These words that Paul wrote inspired me to share with you the song by, ‘Love and Theft’, titled “Love Wins”. If you’re not with us in our worship service this morning I would urge you to look up this song on the Internet and give it a listen.
When Paul writes to the people of Colosse and says they look forward to the hope that is stored up for them in heaven he is emphasizing the security of all believers. Because they know that their future destination and salvation are sure. 1 Peter 1:3, 4 reminds us of that. we are free to live for Christ and love others. When you find yourself doubting or wavering in your faith or love, remember your destination. Heaven!
So wherever Paul went, he preached the gospel. Whether it be to Gentile audiences, to hostile Jewish leaders, or even to his Roman guards. Whenever people believed in the message that Paul spoke, they were changed.
Remember God‘s word is not just for our information, it is for our transformation! Becoming a Christian means beginning a whole new relationship with God, not just turning over a new leaf or determining to do right. Believers have a changed purpose, direction, attitude, and behavior. They are no longer seeking to serve themselves, but they are living a life of hope. “The Hope Stored” up in God.
So is that “Hope”, the Good News, The Gospel reaching others through your life?
In our gospel reading today from Luke, “The Parable of the Good Samaritan”, is so familiar, that there are groups who don’t know anything at all about Christianity but they know this story. We all know the parable of the Good Samaritan. We may not know anything at all about why the Samaritan was an important character and how Jesus turned the least likely person and most politically incorrect person into the hero. But we know the story.
We’ve heard it so many times, that we usually just tune it out. So, maybe, what we need is to tell it in a different way. Something to make it more real. Bring it up to date and give it a fresh appeal. So let let me share with you an updated version written by Billy D. Strayhorn .
A certain young man, a computer programmer by trade, with a really cool car, finally got some vacation time.
He decided to take off on a long driving vacation from Kansas City, Kansas to Pueblo, Colorado.
He’d never seen that part of the country. But knowing the lay of the land and how few and far between the gas stations would be, he meticulously watched his gas gauge.
Unbeknownst to him, though, the gauge had broken during the last time he filled up. And it stuck on full.
Being the trusting soul he was, and a guy who likes to do things quickly, the young man took the advice of the station owner and took a short cut. Where, unfortunately, about half way across, he ran out of gas.
He had absolutely no idea where he was, except on the “so called” short cut.
Not realizing he was out of gas, he looked under the hood but that didn’t really help.
Because while he knew a lot about computers, he knew absolutely nothing about cars.
And wouldn’t you know it, his cell phone wouldn’t work either. No signal. No tower in sight, No bars. No “Can you hear me now?” Nothing. So, he sat in his cool car, which was now a hot car, dejected, hoping someone, anyone else would come along on this “so called” short cut.
As luck would have it, he spotted the cloud of dust first. And coming down the road was a BMW. It turned out to be driven by a very well to do woman. There was a fish on the trunk of her car and a rosary hanging from the rear view mirror.
She even stopped. But then when she found out he needed a ride, she said she was in a hurry to get to her daughter’s house. It was her grandson’s birthday and she had an ice cream cake that she didn’t want to melt. Besides that, they had invited their priest and she didn’t want to be late. So, still mouthing excuses, she got back in the car and left him there. She didn’t even offer to call anyone.
Still dejected the young man just sat back in his hot car. About an hour later, he saw another cloud of dust and watched as a traveling evangelist drove up in a car with a “Honk if you love Jesus” bumper sticker on the back. The preacher couldn’t help either. He was on his way to a preach a 5 day revival.
He was already running late because the Lord had told him to help someone on the side of the road today and he’d already pulled over about 12 times and he didn’t have time for any more. And that’s why he was taking the short cut.
He didn’t offer to help and he didn’t have any gas. He did offer the young man a granola bar. And he did get out and preach a whopping good ten minute sermon about praying your way through problems. And he gave a great blessing for the car and the young man’s vacation. But then he just drove off in his car with the “Honk if you love Jesus” bumper sticker on the back.
Now, even more dejected, the man young wondered if he’d ever find anyone to help. Worn out, hungry, thirsty and tired. The young man just sat there. What else could he do. It was at least 20 miles to the last town and he had no idea how far ahead the next town was.
And then he heard something. He actually heard the low rumble of the bass before he saw the cloud of dust. It was the unmistakable boom of a tricked out automobile with the big bass speakers, the kind you feel more than hear. Then he saw the cloud of dust. And the truck.
It was a big wrecker nearly bouncing down the road to the beat of the music.
It pulled up and out jumped an even younger young man, dressed in baggy pants and a hooded sweatshirt. His nose and both of his ears were pierced. And he had a tattoo on both wrists.
Not only did he offer to help but he gave the stranded young man a fresh bottle of cold water, a ham sandwich and some cookies.
The wrecker driver assessed the situation and declared that the young man had simply run out of gas.
So, the wrecker driver gave the young man a can of gas. It wasn’t much but it would probably be enough to get him to the next gas station. He even agreed to follow along behind and make sure he really did have enough gas to make it. And if not, they’d stop and either siphon some from the wrecker or the wrecker driver would tow the young man and his car to the station so he could fill up.
The wrecker driver even radioed ahead and had the part for the broken gauge waiting, so the owner of the gas station could repair his car.
So, munching on a sandwich, drinking some cold water, and knowing that he had a guardian angel following, the young man headed on down the road, with the wrecker bouncing to the beat behind him. The wrecker, by the way, had no fish decal and no “Honk if you love Jesus” bumper sticker.
But it had something else. Something much more important. That wrecker had a true neighbor and a disciple behind the wheel. A disciple who was listening to loud, booming rap music.
I suppose that if it were Jesus telling the story, He would conclude by saying something to the effect: Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who ran out of gas? “Now go do likewise.”
I haven’t been able to chase down the source of this quote, but Someone wrote, “The parable of the Good Samaritan gives us three philosophies of life.
First there’s the robber’s philosophy: “What’s yours is mine, I’ll take it.”
Second, there is the philosophy of the priest and Levite: “What’s mine is mine, I’ll keep it.”
And Third, there’s the Samaritan’s philosophy: “What’s mine is yours, I’ll share it.”
That’s how I want us to look at this parable today, through the lens of each of those.
There are so many people like that today. The “privileged few”, the robber barons of today. The power hungry leaders or the greedy executives who just can’t be satisfied with being wealthy. They have to have all the marbles.
No wonder there is so much crime. The disparity between the rich and the poor has widened to the point of there no longer being any hope for the poor. Causing many to look to socialism to be the answer. Or they look to drugs and alcohol. Both are quick ways to money and at least a little sense of security. But are lacking,”The Hope Stored” up in God’s Grace.
It used to be that anyone, if they worked hard and were faithful could make it. Now you can work hard, and think you’ve got it made and then have it all jerked out from under you because a couple of the “privileged few” decide to raid the retirement fund or the health benefit fund.
One minute you’ve got it made, the next minute someone is foreclosing on the house you’ve lived in for twenty four years. You weren’t mugged or physically assaulted like the man in the parable. But you were left by the side of the road and left for dead.
The “privileged few”, like the “robbers”, don’t have, “The Hope Stored”, Paul teaches of. Their attitude is, “What’s yours is mine, I’ll take it.”
And believe it or not, from a Christian perspective, that attitude is easier to understand, I think, than the attitude of the Levite and priest, or the woman and the preacher. Their attitude was “What’s mine is mine, I’ll keep it.” And they weren’t even subtle about it.
I guess I should give them a break, it would be professional courtesy. Especially since there have been times that I’ve been too busy with one task to carry out another. Sometimes you just have to prioritize, right. I mean I wasn’t selfish on purpose or because I didn’t care. But isn’t that’s what we always imply with this parable? They probably did care. The priest and the Levite, the woman and the preacher, were just too busy or too preoccupied or simply didn’t want to get involved. So they kept their gifts, their God given gifts of caring and compassion to themselves. They refused to share them with someone in need.
They remind me of the man who was happy because he had done three good deeds the day before. He had met a poor woman on the street, who was weeping and who held a sickly looking child in her arms. After asking, he discovered that she was upset because her child remained unbaptized.
The man asked, “Why don’t you have the child baptized?”
The woman replied, “Because I have no money, and the fee for baptism is five dollars.”
Whereupon, the man handed the woman a ten dollar bill and gave her his address so that she could bring back the change. Which she did and then went on her way.
“That is one good deed,” said a friend. “Now what about the other two?”
The man said, “Oh, all three of them are tied up in that one. First, I relieved the sorrows of a weeping woman. Second, I assured the child of eternal salvation. And third, I got rid of that counterfeit ten dollar bill I’ve been carrying for more than a year.”
If that attitude isn’t “What’s mine is mine, I’ll keep it” I don’t know what is.
But the attitude we’re supposed to have, the attitude taught in this parable is simple. “What’s mine is yours, I’ll share it”, because christians have;”the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel”, The Hope Stored” is to be shared in “Faith” with the knowledge that “Love” wins in all circumstances.
Love is not just action. Love is self-sacrifice. The Samaritan risked his own life for another. Your neighbor doesn’t have to be a stranger or the guy who lives next door, it could be a family member. To quote Cal Thomas, “Love talked about is easily ignored, but love demonstrated is irresistible.”
Love is not just self-sacrifice; it’s sacrifice with nothing expected in return.
“What’s mine is yours, I’ll share it.” That’s “The Hope Stored”. “Go and do likewise.”
In His Service,
Pastor Joe
Listen To Audio: Sermon 20220710
Listen To Audio: Service 07102022
God comes to us as a neighbor, a stranger, an immigrant, binding our wounds and carrying us to safety, so that we might love him with all our heart, soul, and mind, and welcome the stranger, loving our neighbor as ourselves.  
Call to Worship:L:  Gather us in, Lord, and hear our prayers.
P:  We have come to this place in need for healing and hope.
L:  Gather us in, Lord, and heal our spirits.
P:  We come here seeking guidance and strength.
L:  Gather us in, Lord, and open our hearts to receive your word.
P:  Open our hearts, our spirits, our souls to comprehend your word and follow you faithfully. Amen 

Prayer of Confession:    God of love, give us a deep love for you, so that we can see the world as you see it, feel the compassion you feel, and be a people whose lives mediate your love to others.  So, open our eyes that we might see what the Good Samaritan saw.  Grant us the insight to see the need in others, the wisdom to know what to do, and the will to do it.  Amen




Pastor Joe will be available at the church on Wednesday Mornings from 9:00 to 11:00.  If you need to speak to him, contact Pastor Joe at 570-267-4570 (cell) or Email: joe.s.travis@gmail.com

Loose change goes to General Fund.

Sunday School starts at 8:30am

Session meeting Wednesday, July 13 at 4:30 in the afternoon in the community building.

Presbyterian Women will meet on Thursday, July 14th at 11 A.M.

Pastor Marilyn will be filling the pulpit while Pastor Joe and Bonne are on vacation on July 17th.  We will have a time with Pastor Marilyn in the Community Building with cake and fruit platter provided.

Men’s Breakfast Wednesday July 20th at 8:00 A.M.

“Church In The Park” July 31th, at 9:30 weather permitting, but we will have a luncheon either way.  No Sunday School. Please bring a dish to pass.  Meat, drinks, and paper products will be provided. 

Newsletter Deadline will be Tuesday, July 26th

Please mark your envelope if you are contributing to the air duct cleaning fund.

Please sign up to host one of the social hours on the Sunday after Communion Service on the first Sunday of the month.  Hosting only means setting out what is brought and cleaning up afterward.  It does not mean bringing everything to share.

We are looking for “Message in Music” for the summer months.



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