On Tuesday morning the pastors of Lutheran Saints in Ministry gather in Fairborn Ohio to discuss the texts for Sunday.

These are the contributions that are brought to the table.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Bible in an alternate Universe

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."
"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.” — Mother Teresa

The Samaritan got off his ride. The donkey had just stopped in the place it was standing now and had begun to stare in the direction of a human shape lying by the side of the road.
It was a hot, dusty day and the Samaritan was parched. He hesitated a moment and walked over to a hulk of probably dead human body by the side of the path. Just then the unfortunate traveler let out a faint breath.
“Darn it!” the Samaritan huffed under his breath, “You are alive and now I suppose it is up to me somehow to take care of this mess.” 
He looked at the sky: “I know, love thy neighbor and all that stuff, I am not stupid.” he muttered angrily. “I’ll be happy to love my neighbor if he was just a bit less needy than this one, you hear?” 
God did not reply.
The Samaritan went to his animal and searched the saddle bags. He had wine to clean the wounds and oil to treat them afterwards. 
“I was going to use this myself, you know,” he said scoldingly in the direction of the ambushed traveler, “Oil and Wine don’t just happen, they cost me dear in the purse, but if the Lord has need of me doing this for you, I guess . . . “ He looked up, but God said nothing.
He walked back over to the victim who tried to move just then. The Samaritan grabbed his staff firmly and pointed the tip at the man: “Trying to get me, are ya?!” He yelled, but after a few hostile gesture with his staff and only the echo of his own voice to be heard he carried on. 
“O well, I suppose you are down after all, but don’t you try anything!”
He began to clean the wounds. The downed traveler moaned as the Samaritan cleaned his woulds. “Don’t by such a wimp! Suck it up. Be a man about this.”
“What are you doing traveling this road if you can’t even suck in a  little pain. I had much worse and still got myself home all by my lonesome, I have you know.” The donkey kicked the dust with its hoofs and snorted. The sun continued to burn hot as is was the 6th hour.
After he treated the man the Samaritan looked around. What was he to do now? He could not just stay there but the man in the ditch was giving almost no sign that he might be able to rise, much less walk on to safety. 
The Samaritan sighed: “So, now I have to get you out of this mess. The road is steep and guess who will have to walk it now? You better have had a darn good reason to travel here, is all I can say right now.”
He dragged the man out of the ditch and began to lift him onto the donkey. The animal winced as the man was lifted unto it.
“Darn you, help out!” The Samaritan shouted, “don’t expect me to lift you as total dead weight.” 
“I tell you, if you weren’t as fat as you are you probably would a had the skill and power to fight and fend for yourself. Do you actually ever take care of yourself? Do you know how to travel and fight? I bet not!”
It took a while and a lot of ill speech but the Samaritan got the man tied to the back of the donkey, and the three of them, Samaritan, donkey, and the man who they had dragged out of the ditch set off on the road.
The Samaritan walked with an angry slog and a dark countenance by the side of the animal. The donkey kept an obedient, purposeful gate and kept its head down. The traveler moaned now and again much to the Samaritan’s dismay. “O, shut up will you,” he muttered once or twice. “You’ll be alright. No thanks to you.” 
They arrived at a hostel by the road in the heat of the 9th hour. There would be enough daylight for the Samaritan to finish his journey today. 
He opened the door and yelled for the keeper who appeared promptly. Though he was very hospitable, the Samaritan was having none of the usual courtesy that was customary. His day had been a wreck, his wine was gone and his oil was running low. He was thirsty beyond reason and tiered from the journey. “Get this man off my animal. Now! I should not have to do everything, you know,” the Samaritan commanded. 
A negotiation followed and it was agreed that the Samaritan was going to actually pay for the stranger to stay there. At some point the Samaritan accused the inn keep of being in cahoots with the robbers to make money off the God fearing travelers that helped the victims by the road. But the keeper had let the accusation go.
That all done, the Samaritan stomped over to his animal and rode off.
As he went along he looked up at the sky and begun to mutter: “Love your neighbor. Well I did it. And what have I to show for it? Huh? Huh!? Happy?””
God did not reply.
He arrived at the house of an acquaintance with whom he had dealings and who extended hospitality to him. They discussed the events of the day. “Strange you should come upon him,” said the host. “Strange?” the Samaritan broke into anger:  “I tell you, I saw at least two others who left on the road before me this morning, right ahead of me. Did they stop and help? No! They left it to me. I’d give them a piece of my mind if I ever meet them again.”
Calmer he continued: “But they were from Jerusalem and you know what that lot of scum is like. Yea, it is left to you and me to be the, Neighbor, to others. They must not read the Law of Moses in Jerusalem. I tell you, if it wasn’t for people like me, no one would know that there is a living God.”
The night gave him little rest but the next day, having done business, he was on the road home. 
The donkey had trotted faithfully when it suddenly stopped and looked over to the side of the road. The Samaritan looked up and said: “Really!?” 
God said nothing. 

 After he had finished telling this parable, Jesus went to the house of Mary and Martha.
Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. 
But Martha was busy with by her many tasks, making preparations for everyone and creating quite a racket. So Mary came to the Lord and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has chosen to work in the kitchen making all kinds of noise that is disturbing your lesson? Tell her to stop and sit with us.” 
But the Lord answered: “ . . . 

Well? What do you think he said?

The humble Love of God is the key to praise.
Repentant praise is the key to obedience.
Gracious obedience is the key to mercy.
Selfless mercy is the key to the love of God.

Patient love is the key to the Love of God. — Kruse

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