Today’s sermon was preached by Rev. Linda Powers, Program Director of Shelter Services for Community of Action of Napa Valley.
Lesson: Luke 10:25-37
Our scripture this morning is a parable found only in the Gospel of Luke. It is a story I am sure is very familiar to many of you. It is sometimes labeled the “Good Samaritan” parable – even though Good and Samaritan do not appear together anywhere in the scripture. And in other places you will find it labeled with a heading, “Who is My Neighbor?” It is sometimes called narrative and sometimes an example story. By either title or category, it remains a provocative tale. As we have heard, the parable encompasses several characters: a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, robbers who rob and beat him and leave him for dead, a priest, a Levite, and of course the Samaritan.
At the time of the first church, the listeners of this parable would have most likely identified with the victim. That road from Jericho to Jerusalem and back was as well traveled as Hwy 101. It was the path that all of the Jews would use when traveling from regions around the Sea of Galilee as they journeyed to Jerusalem for all of the High Holy Days. Caravans would have traveled this same route as they brought exotic spices and goods from the East. It was the path Mary and Joseph would have traveled on their way to Bethlehem.