Readings: July 14, 2013, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
All readings from the Message Bible © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
- Deuteronomy 30:10-14
Moses said to the people: Only if you listen obediently to God, your God, and keep the commandments and regulations written in this Book of Revelation. Nothing halfhearted here; you must return to God, your God, totally, heart and soul, holding nothing back.
This commandment that Im commanding you today isnt too much for you, its not out of your reach. Its not on a high mountainyou dont have to get mountaineers to climb the peak and bring it down to your level and explain it before you can live it. And its not across the oceanyou dont have to send sailors out to get it, bring it back, and then explain it before you can live it. No. The word is right here and nowas near as the tongue in your mouth, as near as the heart in your chest. Just do it!
- Colossians 1:15-20
Christ Holds It All Together
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see Gods original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels/everything/ got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.
He was supreme in the beginning andleading the resurrection Parade - he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end hes there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universepeople and things, animals and atomsget properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
- Luke 10:25-37
There was a religion scholar there who stood up with a question to test Jesus. Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?
He answered, Whats written in Gods Law? How do you interpret it?
That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligenceand that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.
Good answer! said Jesus. Do it and youll live.
Looking for a loophole, he asked, And just how would you define neighbor?
Jesus answered by telling a story. There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.
A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the mans condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my billIll pay you on my way back.
What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?
The one who treated him kindly, the religion scholar responded.
Jesus said, Go and do the same.