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Faith Daily | 28 September 2021

PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p586


O God,

you declare your almighty power

chiefly in showing mercy and pity:

mercifully grant us such a measure of your grace

that, running in the way of your commandments,

we may obtain your gracious promises,

and be made partakers of your heavenly treasure;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.



GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 9: 51-56



When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set towards Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’ But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.


GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Rev'd Graham


The relationship between the Samaritans and the Jews was not a particularly friendly one, especially at this time when the Jews were heading towards the holy city, Jerusalem. And so the “messengers” took objection to the lack of hospitality. Later in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells the parable of the good Samaritan, and further on, entertains the healed leper, a Samaritan, who returned to give thanks, illustrating his acceptance of non-Jews. We read in the Book of Acts, the inhospitable people in this passage, the Samaritans, accept the message of the Christian way of life with open arms.


The request from James and John to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them” (the Samaritans) reflects the incident in 2 Kings 1, when Elijah calls down fire to destroy his enemies. Jesus does not want this type of attitude to continue, and lives out by his words and deeds the need for non-retaliation, for love of those who are different and seemingly opposed. We recall his call earlier in Luke when he says, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.

I know what a tough call it can be at times when we face those who are different from us or have different ways. But acceptance or forgiveness (or even both) are needed. If we want to follow the way that God wants us to live together, then we have the example Jesus has set. What we read in today’s passage is just as applicable to us – maybe even more so – as it was to those in Jesus’ physical presence then. There is an oft repeated saying I believe that fits well with today’s reflection:


An enemy is someone whose story we have not heard.


Let each off us, in love, listen carefully to the stories of others, and make friends, not enemies.


FINAL PRAYER: TiS 534 “Love is his word”


Love is his word, love is his way,

feasting with friends, fasting alone,

living and dying, rising again,

love, only love, is his way.

Richer than gold is the love of my Lord:

better than splendour and wealth.

Love is his name, love is his law.

Hear his command, all who are his:

‘Love one another, I have loved you’.

Love, only love, is his law.

Richer than gold is the love of my Lord:

better than splendour and wealth.

Amen.

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