You would think it should be easy

I’m leading worship on Sunday.  Nothing new in that.  I’m at Lanark Greyfriars.  That is new.  I’ve never been there before.

I’m struggling a bit.  The text for Sunday is the Parable of the Good Samaritan, perhaps the best known of all the parables.  And there in lies the problem.  What can you say about the most famous story in the world?

I’m sure I’ll think of something… maybe!

I’ve noticed a bit of a pattern with preaching.  I definitely find the more well known texts harder to preach on.  I wonder why that is?

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7 Responses to You would think it should be easy

  1. Shuna says:

    Stewart,
    I know exactly what you mean. Although this week was a weird exception. I have to preach on the Transfiguration. When looking through my files I came accross two pieces of writing which when put together more or less wrote my sermon for me! I still had to add to them but most of the work was done. I cannot claim the pieces as mine but they are good and I feel more than OK about say the words.

    Shuna

  2. Sue K says:

    Stewart you are so right. It is not easy – but I guess a story worth telling again and again and again – maybe one day we will get the message. I remember as a teenager acting it out as teh parable of the punk rocker – as it was in my time. What would be say today?
    Back to the desk
    Sue

  3. Stewart says:

    I think I’m going to talk about how today it is the indifference of the priest and the levite that seems more shocking to us. We know the story so well that the samaritan’s arrival on the scene isn’t a shock. To the listeners of Jesus tale it would have been scandalous. We find it hard to realise just how much the Jews disliked the Samaritans. And to stick one ina story with a priest and levite… wow.

    It’s a story of grace. Maybe not so obvious as the prodigal son but it’s there in the unreserved and undeserved kindness. Now expand that to 15 minutes and I’m done! 🙂

  4. JohnO says:

    15 minutes!! What a cheapskate!
    Anyway, you can always pad out some time using Bryan’s new-fangled multi-media everything.

  5. Stewart says:

    there’s a great Veggie Tales episode… and it will be nearer 20…. maybe.

  6. Mike says:

    Hi

    The best alternative use I ever heard about the Good Samaritan story was from my old supervisor John Atherton. He told the story of society needing to make the ‘roads of society’ flat, a just and safe place for all to live freely, with nowhere for ‘robbers’ to hide. Also for society to ensure those likely to turn to crime are in employment with a decent wage. If there is no opportunity for crime and no need for crime, then we can remove it from our society and ‘make earth as it is in heaven’.

    The point of the story isn’t therefore; if bad luck befalls you, let’s hope you’re then lucky enough for a kind person to walk past (eventually). The point is what kind of society knows things like these are happening and does nothing to remedy the cause?

    Therefore, the next stage is, for the occasions when preventative measures do not work and people are ‘mugged’, as a society we need systems whereby someone can be assured of an ambulance, hospital care, recovery time and sick pay or unemployment benefit. Not a kind individual who may or may no pass that way.

    The Good Samaritan story is a call to the whole of society, not individuals, to ensure a fair and free society with little crime, high employment, decent pay, and a strong welfare state where health care is free at the point of provision and people who need it get a hand up, till they can contribute again.

    Powerful stuff!

    Political, YES, better than Thatcher’s use YES, worth a risk on Sunday … ?
    I’ll leave you to decide. Hope you find it helpful.

    Mike

  7. Stewart says:

    Thanks Mike. I like the collective responsibility of this approach. I preached a while ago on ‘everyday acts of mercy’, saving the world one good deed at a time. But that, as you said, depends on someone being around to do the good deed. How much better if we did as you suggest!

    I had a go at the sermon yesterday and ended up dwelling on the boundary question. The lawyer was asking Jesus to confirm his limited responsibility, but of course Jesus didn’t. The person in need is his neighbour. I’m going to go back to it later and see what I end up with in the light of everyone’s comments and an idea I had in the shower but have forgotten again… hope it comes back!!!

    Stewart

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