This is My Story; This is My Song
Psalm 70 and Luke 10:25-37
In St Augustine’s teaching on the spiritual meaning of this parable, we hear how the man who is robbed and beaten and left half dead is the human being. We are that person. In every spiritual sense we have been robbed by sin and left to die apart from God, and religious functionaries of every kind are powerless to help us. Only Christ can save us by taking on our human nature and healing our wounds and dying for our sins. Only Christ by his death and resurrection can give us eternal life. And that is what he gives us. He comes and rescues us. That is the good news of the Gospel.
Can you hear in this parable how we may start to tell our story, but end up telling God’s story of mercy and love for us in Jesus Christ? Our stories have converged in Christ. And in the church ... where we have been placed by Christ for rest and rehabilitation ... to learn again to trust God and love God above all things and to understand that loving our neighbor means getting out of ourselves and being neighbor to all in our lives.
In that way, I think our stories share a common plot. The details are all our own, but the plot structure is similar. Look at the Psalm for tonight. Psalm 70. It tells the story of God’s salvation. It’s a familiar story, but at the same time it is unique in its details.
Take a moment to think of the arc of the story of your life. Plot out some significant points in your life. How is God present in those moments? How did God save you? What changed about you because of those moments? How did you move forward in thanksgiving and gratitude?
That is the moment where we are right now. Again use your imagination to consider what might be running through the head of the man in parable as he emerges from the inn ... whole and well ... after that experience.
What might have changed about his life? How do you think that might change how he lives his life?
He could become fearful and even hateful. Guarding against another attack, reliving the horror again and again ... or he could dedicate his life to avenging his injury and hunting down the robbers.
Or he might consider how God saved his life and he might dedicate his life to generously giving to help those who hurt like he has or to even prevent others from hurting again.
When we think about it, he stands in the same place as the lawyer whose question to Jesus was the occasion for the story. That lawyer has had a life-changing, mind-transforming experience with Jesus. He has encountered the Word of God ... and that is powerful. Now what ... Go and do likewise. What does that mean for you?
How do we go and do likewise? It starts with acting generously, as generously as Jesus has acted ... giving our time and attention to compassion and a portion of our daily wages to care for others.
So a possible next step is to simply make a plan to be generous in your financial giving to St Paul’s, a commitment to be generous with your time and your mind and your body and ... all else God has given you.
You see ... our story is what happens after this parable ... it’s a story of being of how we responded to the gift of God in Christ Jesus. Amen.
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