#816 - Crossing boundaries - the nature of the gospel (17/5/23)
Today, we continue with our weekly input from Lucy Oyelade.
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy (The Samaritan) on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:36-37)
It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of the Eurovision. Starting as a technical experiment, pushing the boundaries of television and to promote co-operation between members of the European Broadcasting Union in the context of the post-WWII period, it has provided decades of controversy, hilarity, and the odd bit of decent music. The song Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu, commonly known as Volaré, was the Italian entry in 1958 and changed Italian popular music forever, because the singer spread his arms wide rather than going with the usual style of having them folded across his chest. The song didn't win Eurovision, but it gained many other accolades and, let's face it, you've now got it in your head for the rest of the day!
Most importantly, Eurovision causes us to actually talk to our neighbours about something that's not strictly business or politics once a year. It feels like the closest we get to being friendly neighbours without an ulterior motive. And the scoring is usually a good lesson in turning the other cheek when we end up near the bottom of the scoreboard.
We have heard this Sunday and in the blogs about how the gospel of Luke contains the parable of the Good Samaritan, and generally how inclusive this gospel is. Can you imagine how different Christianity would be without the commandment to love your neighbour, whoever they may be? It would change the whole nature of the gospel, if our God wasn't an inclusive God. And as such, we should let it change us, too. Are we good Samaritans, showing our love for Christ through our actions towards those who live near us, even when we don't know them, or understand their language or culture? Even when it's inconvenient or difficult? We know that God uses us, and as such we can have faith that there will be unintended consequences of us being good Samaritans - consequences carefully curated by God which will further his kingdom. Being a part of a bigger picture is so fulfilling and exciting! May you feel inspired to reach out across ever-more boundaries and see the walls come down.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week and how has this helped you / affected your life?
3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER
Please read Luke 1:1-9
Did anything strike you or did God speak to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?
From today's text, what is the reason given from Luke writing this gospel?
List all the things that today's text tells us about Jesus.
List the various applications and responses one could make to today's text.
How do you plan to respond?
SIV - What does this introduction to Luke say about our mission?
SIV - How and with who are you seeking SIV - Serve, Invest and Invite?
Pray together - Spend some time in prayer together out of today's study or/and in regard to seeking to reach our communities for Christ.