Morning Service: Phillippa Hill led worship this morning with a theme ‘The Good Samaritan’. The reading from Deuteronomy reminded us that in the Old Testament time it was written in the law that you should love God and your neighbour.
In a recent report Philippa quoted that only one third of the people surveyed would help a stranger at a small cost and only one fifth would help, if say, someone had fallen in a river or had serious injuries.
We were invited to think about what we would do for others. The parable in Luke’s gospel suggests we note who showed mercy and tells us to do likewise.
It was brought up to date in a video clip showing a minister asking people if he could passers-by if he could their mobile phone as he had forgotten his and was supposed to be meeting a friend who hadn’t turned up and the majority let him. Then he dressed as a rather rough looking man asking passers-by if they would allow him to make a call on their mobile telephones, offering a pound for the use. Many refused, some mentioned the pay phone down the road, but eventually a man of different race agreed to help.
‘Who is our neighbour?’ was the theme of the sermon. In the OT lesson we are told to be obedient and to turn to God with ‘heart and soul’. Neighbours will not necessarily be of our choice of friends. The Samaritan was despised because he was of a different race, but neither race nor religion should be a barrier. Bolton has been successfully multicultural for many years, different clothes, different language and sometimes different God. Accepting help is just as important as giving.
In a recent experiment a group of people were asked who they did not like. One said Germans and another said Syrians. Remarkably when their DNA was analysed there was some German and Syrian in their respective reports – they were shocked!
The ‘safety pin initiative’ was described, where you are invited to wear a safety pin in your lapel to express solidarity and show that a victim could use you as a point of safety. The hymn ‘Beauty for Brokenness’ was played prayerfully as a video clip to conclude the service.
Kindly written by Dennis Hobson.