As I begin this prayer, God is here.
Around me, in my sensations, in my thoughts and deep within me.
I pause for a moment, and become aware
of God's life-giving presence.
Daily Prayer - 2018-10-08
As I begin this prayer, God is here.
Many countries are at this moment suffering the agonies of war.
I bow my head in thanksgiving for my freedom.
I pray for all prisoners and captives.
Dear Lord help me to be always
aware of the important things in life.
To care for those around me.
To seek your presence in all I meet.
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. 'Teacher,' he said, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' He said to him, 'What is written in the law? What do you read there?' He answered, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.' And he said to him, 'You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.'
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, 'And who is my neighbour?' Jesus replied, 'A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, "Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend." Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?' He said, 'The one who showed him mercy.' Jesus said to him, 'Go and do likewise.'
Some thoughts on today's scripture
- Jesus the Teacher is approached by many individuals. Some are genuinely seeking God and wish to do better. Others, like the lawyer of today's reading, is 'testing' Jesus. It is possible, of course, that he is in good faith; he may also be a genuine searcher, but simply more cautious and suspicious than the others who come to Jesus.
- The religious officials in the story - the priest and the Levite - fail the test (probably the fear of ritual impurity prevents them from responding as neighbours to the stricken man). Meanwhile, the Samaritan, an ethnic and religious outsider, is the hero.
- What is striking is how Jesus seems to 'raise the bar' when he is speaking to individuals. When he preaches generally to the crowd, he invites and encourages. But to the individuals who offer themselves, or ask further questions, he challenges them to go that bit further. Is this my experience of being a Christian? Where do I find myself being 'stretched'?
Your own words, Lord, taught me how to pray.
The beautiful “Our Father”,
contains all I would wish to say.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.
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