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Who Is My Neighbour? 17/18 OCTOBER 2020 | PRAYER & PRAISE Services | Rev Gladwin Lee

Who Is My Neighbour?

17/18 OCTOBER 2020 | PRAYER & PRAISE SERVICES

Rev Gladwin Lee

Scripture Passage: Luke 10:25-37 (NIV)

WATCH | SERMON (Video)

(Click on video below)

READ | SERMON NOTES

Summary | Jesus teaches us that we are to practise love whether the person deserves it or not. It is better to practice love than to know how to define it (Thomas a Kempis).

Why do we hesitate to follow the example of the Good Samaritan and love our neighbour?

1. Disruptions to our schedule: The Priest in this story would have been ceremonially unclean if he had touched the possibly dying man. This would have disrupted his plans and work schedule. People are more important than plans! We should consider a disruption to our plans to be an invitation to a new experience.

2. Deniability of responsibility: There was little motivation for the priest and Levite to help the man as there was no one around. We know much about injustice but do very little about it. If doing nothing is an option, we would tend to take that route. We like to believe that someone else will do something. This is known as the ‘bystander effect’.

3. Discrimination and prejudice: Jewish religious leaders’ limited scriptural instructions to love others as referring only to Jewish people. They despised Samaritans. We too are guilty of racism and unhealthy prejudices against those different from us.

4. Difficult and dangerous situation: We may get physically, emotionally or socially hurt so we prefer to stand aside. If we stand up for the ostracised, we may find ourselves a victim of cyber bullying or vitriolic criticism.

It will require immense effort on our part to change our hearts so we can love our neighbour as God requires. We cannot do it alone and must seek help from the Lord. We can do so in the following 3 ways:

  • Tune our hearts to love God: We need to begin by loving God with our whole heart, soul. strength and mind (Luke 10:27) As people redeemed by God we must immerse ourselves deeply in His love through spiritual disciplines. Only then can we tune our hearts to stop what we are doing to intentionally ask God to reveal to us His love for those we encounter. Jesus deliberately chose a Samaritan to be the hero of his story to remind his Jewish listeners that even people they regard as evil can do good. We are to reflect God’s limitless love and not set limits on our own love.
  • Tune our hearts to stop for others: Let’s make time to love people. Opportunities arise when we least expect them. May we pray for courage to take action and be a good Samaritan whenever we can.
  • Meet the need: To do: Think of one step of kindness or justice that we could do for someone today.

(Sermon Notes by Frances Lim)

PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS

1. 1st Reading: Have a volunteer read Luke 10:25-37 aloud. How does Jesus define 'neighbour'?

2. The preacher shared four reasons why we hesitate to show love and mercy to people: (1) Disruptions, (2) Deniability, (3) Discrimination and (4) Difficult and dangerous

2.1. Amongst the four reasons, which do you think is a greater issue in our society today?

2.2. On a scale of 1 (easy) to 10 (difficult), do you generally find it easy or difficult to stop to attend to the disruptions/interruptions in your life?

2.3. What forms of discrimination exist in our society and church life today?

3. Which of the four reasons for not showing love, are you most inclined to commit?

3.1. Share with the group a personal situation or circumstance in your own life, where you experienced any one of these hesitations to love and show mercy.

4. 2nd reading: Have someone volunteer to read Luke 10:30-35 aloud and slowly. As he/she reads the parable, try imagining yourself as the injured man in the story. As you put yourself in his shoes, share what possible feelings and thoughts you think the injured man would have been experiencing.

5. As you consider the character of the injured man in this story, who might such a person be in your community today?

5.1. Share about the plight of the individuals who are in need.

6. 3rd Reading: Have someone volunteer to read Luke 10:30-35 aloud and slowly for your group for the 3rd time. As he/she reads the parable, try imagining yourself as the Samaritan in the story. As you put yourself in the Samaritan's shoes, what sight or smell would he have noticed? What led him to help the injured man?

7. Have you ever encountered or witnessed a good Samaritan in action? Share with the group what happened.

8. Tuning our hearts for others: What is one practical step of kindness or justice which you can do for someone?