REDEEMER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
October 29, 2023
Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost
Processional: “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”
Invocation: Welcome to this Glorious Sunday!
Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Call to Worship
L: Beloved children of God, how can we love each other today?
P: By meeting and listening and caring for one another face-to-face.
L: Beloved children of God, how can we love God today?
P: By practicing our love for one another and God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
L: Let us worship God together today!
P: We come to worship God by living our love for God and neighbor face-to-face. Amen.
Words of Welcome and Parish News
*Gathering Hymn: “Lord, I Want to be a Christian in My Heart” 402 UMH
Silent meditation and prayer
Prayer Focus: Strength
Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Scripture: New Testament
Matthew 22:34-40 The Greatest Commandment
34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them, an expert in the law, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
John 13: 34-35
34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Luke 10: 25-37 The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 An expert in the law stood up to test Jesus.[j] “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” 27 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 neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”
29 But wanting to vindicate himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and took off, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan while traveling came upon him, and when he saw him he was moved with compassion. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, treating them with oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 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.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Choir Anthem: “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”
The Message “Love is Blind!” Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr
This subject of love is straightforward; however, sometimes, it becomes very subjective and influenced by external things in life. These external things could be social status, economics, your zip code, and, in some cases, your religious affiliation. Jesus said: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Now, let’s unpack this verse. What would stop you from loving your God with all your heart, soul, and mind? We get distracted in life by life.
If you’re not focused on loving God with all you have, you open the door to questioning the essence of faith, trust, and hope. Can you imagine walking around with a blindfold over your eyes? From time to time, we have an invisible blindfold on our eyes. Let me explain: we see things but respond as if we don’t see some things. Jesus tells us how to love and who to love. But some blindfolds are placed over our eyes by propaganda. There is something that has always made question the scales of justice model. Here, we have a woman who is blindfolded, holding a scale. The concept is justice is impartial. It’s not supposed to be subjective or influenced by different things. I have also wondered why women have been mistreated in society. Yet, the scale of justice is a model of justice holding the scales of justice.
The parable of the Good Samaritan is very telling about love, or selective love, if there is such a thing. Now, the reactions from the priest and the Levite address the same reactions from people today. Maybe they thought they couldn’t do anything. But they passed by on the other side. Where is their love? Love should be blind to things like age, gender, and race, especially when we speak of one human race. We can’t let people’s clothes or social status interfere with love. God’s love is agape love (unconditional). The Samaritan’s love was blind. He didn’t cross to the other side. He saw someone in need of help. As Jesus has stated, loving one another should be the path we take with one another. Love should not be based on material things. Thanks to God, who loves us in spite of our actions.
God of unimaginable love, you have given us so much and asked so little. In the words of Jesus, we have been commanded to love you with our whole being, love our neighbors, and love ourselves. For that simple price, you have given us everything and promised to love us and not desert us. It is a covenant more generous than anyone could imagine, and yet how often we fail to keep the bargain.
Offertory Music: “Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart”
*Doxology: UMH 95
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below; praise him above, ye heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
*Unison Prayer of Dedication:
As we dedicate our gifts this morning to bringing acts of love, may we also resolve to better keep our side of your covenant of love. In Christ, we pray. Amen.
*Closing Hymn: “The Gift of Love” 408 UMH
Having opened your hearts to God and received God’s healing love, go now into this hurting troubled world with the good news of God’s presence and compassion. AMEN.
Recessional “Take My Life”
(Please remain seated to meditate and reflect on the music)