Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Gospel

My husband preached today... as he normally does each Sunday.  And it was one of those sermons that just sticks with you all day long, and you digest bits and pieces throughout the day.

The sermon was from the Gospel reading in Luke chapter 10 about the Good Samaritan, but I'd say 2/3 of the sermon was law... what God expects of me... what God commands from me.  So, I'm sitting in the pew hearing this law, all the while knowing there's no WAY I can do perfectly what God's heavy, hard to hear.  But I've been listening to my husband's sermons for a while and I am on the edge of my seat inwardly begging for him to get to the Gospel.  I know he will, I know it, but I can hardly stand the wait.

He talks about what it means to love our neighbors.  That our neighbors are whomever we come in contact with, and loving them means caring for them in the most remedial tasks as the Samaritan did when he cleaned and bandaged the beaten man and took him to the hospital.  Okay, so, we are the Samaritan...we are to meet the needs that we see in front of us for whomever is in front of us.. be it friend or foe. We show God's love to our neighbors by doing our family's laundry, allowing someone with small, tired children to get in front of us at the grocery line, returning a harsh word with a kind one... and sometimes I do this.  But sometimes I don't... many times I don't.  And I know this as I sit and listen to the sermon.   I'm the Samaritan, and I'm not doing such a great job.

Then it comes.  Jesus is the Samaritan.  We are the beaten and broken man.  Jesus sees us in the road, friend or foe?  Doesn't matter, he cleans our wounds and brings us to the hospital to heal.  HE does what God commands of us perfectly, HE shows us God's love, because we can't.  Ahhh Gospel.  And when we fail... because we always do, the gospel heals us.  It cleanses us in the waters of our baptism.  It heals and strengthens us in the Holy meal of communion.  And leads us to rest in the company of other saints as we hear the Word of God preached on Sunday morning.

 Because of the perfect life of Christ, I am now able to do the work that he has prepared in advance for me to do...I will show the love of God to my neighbors, and I will come back to church regularly to receive forgiveness and to hear the healing Gospel.  Ahhh, Gospel.