Pages

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25-37


Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, has this most beautiful sculpture of the Good Samaritan,* with these words:

"In Luke Chapter 10, the parable of the Good Samaritan is described.  Jesus said to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself.  Just as the Good Samaritan cared for and showed mercy on the beaten man, we are instructed to do likewise.  By staying true to the mission, the physicians, employees, and volunteers of Good Samaritan Regional Health Center do just that."

To this I would add only that Christ is the Good Samaritan who saw and took pity on you, saved you from death and brought you to an inn, the Church, telling the innkeeper, your pastor, to take care of you, and giving him the Means: the Word and Sacraments.

*The sculpture is by Harry Weber of Wright City, Missouri.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Remain a Pupil

Some Christians struggle to believe that Genesis 1 and 2 are describing an actual week and that Creation took place over the course of a literal six-day period.  Their pastors don't always help.  At a recent conference, one pastor publicly denied a literal six-day Creation.  I was both saddened by this and alarmed, recalling that the very first temptation (Genesis 3) was to deny God's Word.  When will we learn?

Luther called the article of Creation "harder to believe than the article of the Incarnation."  But he wrote: "If you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are.  For you are to deal with Scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God Himself says what is written.  But since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wantonly to turn His Word in the direction you wish to go."

I agree, but I also add something.  I observe a strange focus on Creation Week and the question, "Is it literal?"  And I say that, because in the Gospel we are presented with another week, the one that begins on Palm Sunday and climaxes on Good Friday.  It could be called Redemption Week, through which the Lamb of God took away the world's sin.  How come no one has ever questioned the literalness of this week, especially when you stop to consider that to redeem the world was indeed a thousand times harder to do than to create it?  And that's because at Creation there was no resistance, no enemy.  Whereas Redemption fought a battle against sin, death, devil, and hell.

And so next to Redemption Week, I find Creation Week very easy to believe.  And I will spend the remainder of my life not wondering whether God created the heavens and the earth in six literal days, but pondering that He redeemed the world, and me, in six literal hours upon the cross.