The First Reading is from Leviticus 18:1-5; 19:9-18. This passage was a reminder to the people of Israel that they were to be a special people, set aside to follow the LORD, and to do His will. The passage continues with guidelines on how to treat others. Notice what the Lord says about why to follow these instructions: He is the LORD; in other words, follow His will because He is Who He is, and as His people they were to live in ways that were helpful and beneficial to others.
We are the people of God through Jesus, redeemed by grace through faith, not by works. Now, as the people of God we want to live according to His will and guidance, including helping others in their needs. Why? To win His favor? No, but because He is the Lord, and we are His people, and we want to glorify His Name and share His blessings with others.
Lord God, we thank and praise You that we are redeemed by grace through faith, and not by our works. Let our words and actions bring glory to You because You are the LORD, and let our words and actions be a blessing to those around us so that they will give You thanks for Your blessings shared through us. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
Psalm 41. The psalm begins by a reminder to help the poor, that those who do are blessed by God. The psalm then continues with a lament from the psalmist that he is in trouble, yet the psalmist trusts in the Lord, Who will deliver him. Let us also trust in the Lord.
Lord God, Father almighty, turn our hearts and minds to help those in need, as You help us in our needs. Let us be a blessing to others as You have first blessed us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
The Second Reading is Colossians 1:1-14. This reading begins several readings over the next few weeks from Paul’s letter to the Colossians. This letter is sent by Paul to a congregation he has not visited. The primary purpose of the letter is to give thanks for their faith, and to share the teachings of Jesus with them, encouraging them to continue to follow Jesus. Let us listen closely to what Paul tells the Colossians, and us, through this letter.
Holy Spirit, we thank You that You have given us Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Open our hearts and minds to Your teaching, and let us grow in every way into Christ, the Head of the church. In His Name we pray. Amen.
The Gospel is recorded in Luke 10:25-37, and is the familiar parable of the Good Samaritan. The question is asked: Who is my neighbor? In response, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan. As you read the parable, remember that Samaritans and Israelites of Jesus’ day had nothing to do with each other, in fact they hated each other. How do you think the injured man’s attitude changed toward the hated Samaritan when the Samaritan helped him, probably saving his life? How would those who oppose us because we are Christian respond if we loved them with the love of Christ?
Lord Jesus Christ, we thank and praise You for loving us so much You would go to the cross for our redemption. Move us by Your love for us so that we love others as You first loved us. Let Your love change all of our hearts to love You with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and our neighbors as ourselves. In Your Name we pray. Amen.