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Love Your Neighbour

10 July 2022

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Here are the service notes in their entirety, including the prayers and hymns.

Love Your Neighbour

Worship for Sunday, 10 July 2022



Opening Words:         In a world that cries out, “Fear me!”
                                    We will listen to Jesus’ words, “Do not be afraid!”

                                    In a world that wants us to hate the other,
                                    We will live Jesus’ call to, “Love God,

                                    and love your neighbour, as you love yourself.”

                                    In a world that radicalizes,
                                    We, too, will be radical:
                                    radical with our hospitality.
                                    radical with our hope.
                                    radical with our love.

                                    So, as we come, ready to be who we are called to be,
                                    let us gather together and worship God. 


Hymn:             1          Let us build a house where love can dwell
                                    and all can safely live,
                                    a place where saints and children tell
                                    how hearts learn to forgive.
                                    Built of hopes and dreams and visions,
                                    rock of faith and vault of grace;
                                    here the love of Christ shall end divisions:
                                    all are welcome, all are welcome,
                                    all are welcome in this place.

                        2          Let us build a house where prophets speak,
                                    and words are strong and true,
                                    where all God's children dare to seek
                                    to dream God's reign anew.
                                    Here the cross shall stand as witness
                                    and as symbol of God's grace;
                                    here as one we claim the faith of Jesus:
                                    all are welcome, all are welcome,
                                    all are welcome in this place.

                        3          Let us build a house where love is found
                                    in water, wine and wheat:
                                    a banquet hall on holy ground,
                                    where peace and justice meet.
                                    Here the love of God, through Jesus,
                                    is revealed in time and space;
                                    as we share in Christ the feast that frees us:  
                                    all are welcome, all are welcome,
                                    all are welcome in this place.

                        4          Let us build a house where hands will reach
                                    beyond the wood and stone
                                    to heal and strengthen, serve and teach,
                                    and live the Word they've known.
                                    Here the outcast and the stranger
                                    bear the image of God's face;
                                    let us bring an end to fear and danger:
                                    all are welcome, all are welcome,
                                    all are welcome in this place.

                        5          Let us build a house where all are named,
                                    their songs and visions heard
                                    and loved and treasured, taught and claimed
                                    as words within the Word.
                                    Built of tears and cries and laughter,
                                    prayers of faith and songs of grace,
                                    let this house proclaim from floor to rafter:
                                    all are welcome, all are welcome,
                                    all are welcome in this place.

Marty Haugen
© 1994 GIA Publications Inc.



Prayer:            Holy God, we come together to worship,
                        a people who would like to think that we love you
                        with all our hearts and souls, and with all our might.


                        But there are so many other things in our lives
                        that clamour for our attention, that we often relegate you to Sundays
                        and those times when we want you to rescue us, or do something for us.

                        Most of us really do want you to be the one
                        in whom we live and move and have our being.
                        We really do want to hear your voice
                        above all of the other voices in our lives.
                        But we get bogged down in the daily routine.
                        We forget who we are.
                        We forget who you are.
                        We forget what the church is supposed to be.

                        So, we come before you today,
                        with our human foibles and our short attention spans,
                        asking that you would make yourself known to us;

                        with heavy hearts, that you might carry our burdens;

                        with our self-satisfaction, that you might open our eyes to the needs of others;

                        with our self-centredness, that you might open our ears to the cries of our neighbour;

                        with our hopes and our fears, our joys and our sorrows,

                        just as we are, seeking to recognise the presence of the Holy,
                        and praying that you would continue to challenge us, inspire us,
                        and make us into the people you want us to be.


                        All these prayers we offer in Jesus’ name, and we draw them together

                        as we share in the prayer that he taught his disciples:


                                    Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

                                    Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

                                    Give us today our daily bread.

                                    Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

                                    Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.

                                    For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and for ever.



Reading:          Luke 10:25-37


                        On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I

                        do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘What is written in the Law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’ He

                        answered, ‘“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, “Love your neighbour as yourself.”’ ‘You have

                        answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’ But he wanted to justify

                        himself, so he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’


                        In reply Jesus said: ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked

                        by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half-dead.

                        A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by

                        on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the

                        other side. But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him,

                        he took pity on him.


                        He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on

                        his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two

                        denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said, “and when I return, I will

                        reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.”


                        ‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of

                        robbers?’ The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him,

                        ‘Go and do likewise.’


Hymn:             1          Jesus put this song into our hearts,
                                    Jesus put this song into our hearts,
                                    it's a song of joy no one can take away,
                                    Jesus put this song into our hearts.

                        2          Jesus taught us how to live in harmony,
                                    Jesus taught us how to live in harmony,
                                    different faces, different races, he made us one,
                                    Jesus taught us how to live in harmony.

                        3          Jesus taught us how to be a family,
                                    Jesus taught us how to be a family,
                                    loving one another with the love that he gives,
                                    Jesus taught us how to be a family.

                        4          Jesus turned our sorrow into dancing,
                                    Jesus turned our sorrow into dancing,
                                    changed our tears of sadness into rivers of joy,
                                    Jesus turned our sorrow into a dance.

Graham Kendrick
© 1986 Thankyou Music

CCL Licence No. 164158


Sermon:          The parable of the ‘Good Samaritan’ is one of those very familiar, even perhaps, too familiar,

                        passages of Scripture. It is all too easy to read it without really thinking and without

                        considering, what was so shocking about it, or what it actually says to the reader. And yet, it

                        is a parable that is not only timeless, but also speaks very pertinently and powerfully into our

                        world today.


                        In the passage, a teacher of the law came to Jesus and asked, “What must I do to receive

                        eternal life?” Jesus responds, as always, with another question rather than a straight answer.

                        He wishes to see what the teacher understands about the law that he teaches to others.

                        Following the answer given by the teacher, Jesus tells him, “You have answered correctly;

                        do this and you will live.


                        How strange this sounds to our ears, for Jesus says nothing about believing in him, nor does

                        he say anything about following him. These are aspects of faith and discipleship that we tend

                        to consider vital. Yet, they are not the aspects that Jesus chooses to focus on. Instead, all that

                        Jesus does, is to highlight that the key to faith and to following God is simple. All one has to

                        do is, love God, and love your neighbour as yourself.


                        We need to remember that this is not love in a shallow way, or in the way that we most often

                        think about it. But it is actually love in a true, costly, meaningful way. Indeed, it is a love that

                        imitates Jesus, and this means a love that is sacrificial.


                        Faith, in this conversation, does not seem to enter into the equation at all. The answer seems

                        to be based upon action, and perhaps, even, the very thing that the Protestant Reformation

                        argued against, salvation by works. Although, surely, the reality is, that one must have faith

                        in order to love God.


                        At this point the enquiry seems to have reached a conclusion. But the teacher of the law does

                        not leave it there. We are told that he takes the issue further because he desires to justify

                        himself. Maybe he is proud of how he lives his life, and so he seeks to find a way to

                        demonstrate what he does. Whatever the reason, he pushes further, perhaps, he may have

                        later reflected, he actually pushes a little too far. But he asks, “And who is my neighbour?


                        And we are grateful for the question. For it is also one that comes easily to our lips. And it is

                        a question that demands an answer. Though we, like the teacher of the law, might not like the

                        answer that we receive. For the question leads Jesus to answer with the parable of the Good

                        Samaritan that we are so familiar with.


                        In the parable, a man travels from Jerusalem to Jericho. He was following a road that was

                        known to be dangerous. Indeed, it was known to be dangerous even into the twentieth

                        century. Perhaps it is still dangerous even today? But on this journey, the man is mugged,

                        beaten, and left for dead.


                        This can lead us to start asking questions. Did he take enough care? Did he take precautions?

                        Was it his own fault? And these are not the right sort of questions to ask. For in asking them,

                        we find ourselves slipping into blame culture, where we blame the victim for something that

                        has happened to them, and not the perpetrator of the crime.


                        Sometime afterwards, both a priest and a Levite come along the same road. They see the

                        injured man lying there, but they do not approach him. Instead, they pass by on the other side

                        of the road. They are in a hurry, or they are afraid of being attacked themselves, or they do

                        not wish to risk becoming unclean.


                        But are we, perhaps, a little too willing to find excuses for them, to let them off the hook,

                        when actually, what we should be doing, is hearing the power of the story that Jesus is telling.


                        The theologian, Matthew Skinner, tells us that,


                                    Jesus does not explain why the priest and Levite neglect to assist one of their

                                    own people. The parable treats their staying across the road from a fellow Jew

                                    in need as a shocking event. Nothing indicates that they think the victim is dead

                                    or that they fear contracting contamination from a corpse; even if the man were

                                    dead, such purity concerns would be insignificant compared to the weightier

                                    need to arrange for the burial of an exposed body.


                        He concludes,

                                    Nothing can excuse their refusal to reach out.


                        But then, following the passing by of the priest and the Levite, a Samaritan comes along the

                        road, and on seeing the man lying there, takes pity, stops, and helps. Furthermore, he

                        provides for lodging on account. And, while Jesus does not tell us the reasons behind why the

                        priest and Levite walk on by, he does tell us why the Samaritan stopped, for, he was moved

                        with pity.


                        The Lutheran pastor, Mary Hinkle Shore, speaks of the power of the Greek in this sentence.

                        She writes,


                                    In the New Testament, the verb splanchnizomai is used to refer to three

                                    characters in parables: the father of the prodigal son, the master who

                                    forgives a servant an astronomical debt, and the Samaritan. The other

                                    nine New Testament occurrences of the verb all have Jesus as their

                                    subject. In every case, to feel such compassion is to be moved to extra-

                                    ordinary action.


                        The priest and the Levite are people of the establishment. They are good, respected, and

                        respectable people. Yet, they show a lack of care; they are, perhaps, more concerned with

                        their own business, their own safety, and their own standing, than with the welfare of another.

                        They do not show the love that sparks the story.


                        The Samaritan, on the other hand, is a hated and despised person. Yet, he is the one who

                        shows care and concern, and he is the one who acts in love.


                        Here again Matthew Skinner speaks to the heart of what is going on. He says,


                                    The Samaritan treats the man not as an enemy but as one dear to him, as shown

                                    in the multifaceted care he provides. His exemplary deeds, born from compassion,

                                    demonstrate the lengths to which love goes.


                        And he concludes,


                                    Authentic love does not discriminate, it creates neighbourly relationships, because

                                    by its nature it meets the needs of others.


                        So, who might the characters in this parable be today? Are the priest and Levite simply

                        bishops, ministers, elders, councillors, politicians, doctors, etc.? Or by marking them out as

                        such, are we making it too easy to free ourselves of any responsibility, or any guilt?



                        Should we, in actual fact, be considering whether we are the ones who might take the place of

                        the priest and the Levite in this story? For surely, like them, we are the ones who should,

                        without question, step forward to help.


                        And what about the Samaritan, the hated person, who might that be in our society? Drug

                        dealers, immigrants, asylum seekers, benefit claimants, the poor, people of other faiths,

                        protestors, terrorists?


                        Who are the people that we aren’t even willing to name?


                        For note that the lawyer isn’t willing to speak of ‘the Samaritan’ when Jesus asks him,

                                    ‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into

                                     the hands of robbers?’


                        Rather than simply answering, ‘the Samaritan’, he instead says,

                                    ‘The one who had mercy on him.’


                        Once again, Matthew Skinner, opens this up for us when he says,


                                    Jesus’ question forces the lawyer to admit which character demonstrates what

                                    it means to act in a neighbourly way. His refusal to utter “the Samaritan” as

                                    his answer underscores the parable’s deep offense. A Samaritan is the exemplar.

                                    The lawyer is pushed to learn about genuine love from the deeds of one whom

                                    he regards as his enemy.


                        And this is where the message of the parable becomes relevant to us today. As the minister

                        and theologian, Douglas John Hall, says, it is all too easy,

                                    to reduce the parable to simplistic terms that appeal only to shallow minds:

                                    “Be nice like the Samaritan, not nasty like the clergy!”


                        But there is more to it than that. It goes deeper than that. And it asks more of us than that.


                        It is no longer simply a story that we like to hear, for now, it speaks to us where we are.

                        The question for us becomes: who are the neighbours that we need to look out for and help?


                        We live in a world where difference of any sort is regularly used as a way to separate and

                        divide. It doesn’t matter what the subject matter is, nor what the topic is. What becomes

                        important is that people can be separated out into groups who are either for or against the

                        specific proposition that is being debated.


                        Sometimes this can be over a small issue that can be thought to have little apparent

                        consequence; at other times it can be over larger and more serious issues, that end up having

                        dangerous and far-reaching consequences for a prolonged period of time.


                        But whether the issue is large or small (and the same issue can be viewed differently

                        depending on your particular perspective on it) there are people in society who will find any

                        excuse to air ugly and disgusting views about it, and about people who hold different

                        opinions. And, whatever our opinions on an issue, there is never any excuse for offensive



                        Now, we can easily seek to lay the blame for this behaviour at the feet of elements of the

                        press, or some of our politicians, or even certain isolated members of the public, but if that’s

                        all we do, then we are, in reality, doing no more and no better than walking on by on the

                        other side.


                        For it is not enough to shake our heads or suck our teeth about such behaviour. It is not

                        enough to be upset when we hear about, or read about, such things happening around the

                        country, or across the world. We need to see what is happening and challenge such attitudes

                        and such behaviour.


                        Mary Hinkle Shore helps us to see the truth when she says,


                                    The story begins with this question about eternal life, and it closes with Jesus’

                                    command, “Do this, and you will live.”


                                    What is the way of life that leads to eternal life? In response to that question,

                                    the message of the Good Samaritan leads readers to the conclusion that one

                                    must help because helping is the way of life – not only for the one needing help,

                                    but also for those offering it. All are in this together.


                                    “Neighbour” is a communal category. The priest and the Levite, for all their

                                    experience in religious community, did not know how to recognise their bond

                                    with the man in the ditch, but the Samaritan did. He knew that life – not just

                                    for the needy one but for everyone, and not just for the moment but for eternity

                                    – requires being and having neighbours.


                        We are invited to see those around us, whoever they may be, as our neighbours, and, like the

                        Samaritan of the parable, we are invited, indeed, even more than that, we are expected to cast

                        aside our prejudices, our fears, our plans, and anything else that would hinder our action, so

                        that we might “go and do likewise” as Jesus asks of us.




Hymn:             1          Community of Christ,
                                    who make the Cross your own,
                                    live out your creed and risk your life
                                    for God alone:
                                    the God who wears your face,
                                    to whom all worlds belong,
                                    whose children are of every race
                                    and every song.

                        2          Community of Christ,
                                    look past the Church's door
                                    and see the refugee, the hungry,
                                    and the poor.
                                    Take hands with the oppressed,
                                    the jobless in your street,
                                    take towel and water, that you wash
                                    your neighbour's feet.

                        3          Community of Christ,
                                    through whom the word must sound -
                                    cry out for justice and for peace
                                    the whole world round:
                                    disarm the powers that war
                                    and all that can destroy,
                                    turn bombs to bread, and tears of anguish
                                    into joy.

                        4          When menace melts away,
                                    so shall God's will be done,
                                    the climate of the world be peace
                                    and Christ its Sun;
                                    our currency be love
                                    and kindliness our law,
                                    our food and faith be shared as one
                                    for evermore.

Shirley Erena Murray (1931-2020)
© 1992 Hope Publishing Company.

CCL Licence No. 164158



Offering:         Generous God, through your Son, Jesus Christ,

                        you have shown us what it means to love.

                        And you call us to follow your example,

                        to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.


                        Continue to write your law of love on our hearts,

                        and accept the gifts that we offer,

                        along with the service of our lives,

                        in the continuing desire to build your kingdom.


                        Give us an unwavering passion for justice,

                        and a tenacious faith that will not rest

                        until the hungry are fed, the oppressed find relief,

                        and the outsider finds a welcome.


                        This we pray in Jesus’ name




Prayers of Intercession:


                        God of love, give us a deep love for you,

                        so that we can see the world as you see it,

                        feel the compassion you feel,

                        and be a people whose lives mediate your love to others.


                        Open our eyes that we might see what the Good Samaritan saw.

                        Grant us the insight to see the need in others,

                        the wisdom to know what to do, and the will to do it.


                        Therefore, we pray for all those, who in many and various ways,

                        have been stripped, beaten and left for dead.


                        Lord, in your mercy.

                        Hear our prayer.

                                    Who can sound the depths of sorrow
                                    in the Father heart of God,
                                    for the children we've rejected,
                                    for the lives so deeply scarred?
                                    And each light that we've extinguished
                                    has brought darkness to our land:
                                    upon our nation, upon our nation
                                    have mercy Lord!

                        We pray for children who must grow up

                        in the most awful of circumstances,

                        especially for those starved of love, or food, or shelter or security.

                        May they receive the future you have planned for them.


                        We pray for those we might cross the road to avoid;

                        who have been excluded socially because of their race,

                        their financial status, or their history.

                        May the dignity that is theirs be restored to them.


                        Lord, in your mercy.

                        Hear our prayer.


                                    We have scorned the truth you gave us,
                                    we have bowed to other lords,
                                    we have sacrificed the children
                                    on the altars of our gods.
                                    O let truth again shine on us,
                                    let your holy fear descend;
                                    upon our nation, upon our nation
                                    have mercy Lord!

                        We pray for those who cannot face the truth,

                        who find it too challenging, too depressing,

                        too frustrating, or too frightening to contemplate.

                        Grant them courage and help, hope and perseverance.


                        We pray for those who deny the truth, twisting and distorting it,

                        leading others astray, blind to right and wrong.

                        Give them the honesty to recognise their mistakes,

                        and the grace to amend them.


                        Lord, in your mercy.

                        Hear our prayer.


                                    Who can stand before your anger;
                                    who can face your piercing eyes?
                                    For you love the weak and helpless,
                                    and you hear the victims' cries.
                                    Yes, you are a God of justice,
                                    and your judgement surely comes:
                                    upon our nation, upon our nation
                                    have mercy Lord!

                        We pray for those who look at the world in a negative way;

                        for those who only see the pain and the suffering

                        and never the loving and holding of friends;

                        for those who only see the grief and the sorrow,

                        and never the caring and helping of others;

                        for those who only see the weakness and failures of others

                        and never their goodness and love.


                        May you fill their hearts with the transforming love of Jesus.


                        We pray for those with eyes that are open

                        to the hurt of their neighbour and the pain in the world;

                        for those who see hungry faces and lives wrecked by war;

                        for those who are moved to help and to care;

                        and for those who struggle with feelings of inadequacy

                        in the face of overwhelming news that is made abstract.  


                        May you give them new hope and determination to care.


                        Lord, in your mercy.

                        Hear our prayer.


                                    Who will stand against the violence?
                                    Who will comfort those who mourn?
                                    In an age of cruel rejection,
                                    who will build for love a home?
                                    Come and shake us into action,
                                    come and melt our hearts of stone:
                                    upon your people, upon your people,
                                    have mercy Lord!

                        We pray for nations whose people are filled

                        with hatred and aggression towards each other;

                        for communities split by distrust and injustice;

                        and for individuals who are divided by dispute and intolerance.


                        May your love bring a deeper desire for true reconciliation,

                        and may your peace fill the hearts of all people.


                        Lord, in your mercy.

                        Hear our prayer.


                                    Who can sound the depths of mercy
                                    in the Father heart of God?
                                    For there is a Man of sorrows
                                    who for sinners shed His blood.
                                    He can heal the wounds of nations,
                                    he can wash the guilty clean:
                                    because of Jesus, because of Jesus,
                                    have mercy Lord!


                        We pray for the Church throughout the world

                        as it worships, serves, and cares in different ways,

                        in different places, and through very different people.

                        We rejoice in our diversity and thank you that,

                        even with our differences, we are all one in Jesus Christ.


                        We pray especially for churches in places of violence and persecution,

                        and for those who are committed to standing alongside

                        the poor, the broken, the defeated, and the victims.

                        Help them to build bridges of hope and understanding

                        in place of rejection, prejudice, and injustice.


                        We pray for ourselves, asking that you would open our eyes,

                        that we may never cross the road from human need,

                        nor ever turn our backs on those who struggle and need our help.


                        Give us a deep love for you, that we might see your love at work in the world,

                        and that we might hear your call to go and do likewise,

                        understanding that everyone is our neighbour.


                        Lord, in your mercy.

                        Hear our prayer.



Graham Kendrick
© 1988 Make Way Music

CCL Licence No. 164158



Hymn:             1          Come, set your rule and reign, in our hearts again,
                                    increase in us we pray, unveil why we're made.
                                    Come, set our hearts ablaze with hope,
                                    like wildfire in our very souls,
                                    Holy Spirit come invade us now.
                                    We are your church, we need your pow'r in us.

                        2          We seek your Kingdom first, we hunger and we thirst,
                                    refuse to waste our lives, for you're our joy and prize.
                                    To see the captive hearts released,
                                    the hurt, the sick, the poor at peace;
                                    we lay down our lives for heaven's cause.
                                    We are your church, we pray: 'revive this earth'.

                                    Build your Kingdom here, let the darkness fear;
                                    show your mighty hand, heal our streets and land.
                                    Set your church on fire, win this nation back;
                                    change the atmosphere, build your Kingdom here we pray.

                        3          Unleash your Kingdom's pow'r, reaching the near and far,
                                    no force of hell can stop, your beauty changing hearts.
                                    You made us for much more than this,
                                    awake the Kingdom seed in us,
                                    fill us with the strength and love of Christ,
                                    we are your church, we are the hope on earth.
                                    Chorus x 2

Rend Collective Experiment
© 2011 Thankyou Music

CCL Licence No. 164158



Blessing:                     May we live a life that is worthy of the Lord.


                                    Let us give joyful thanks to God

                                    through loving our neighbour,

                                    through doing justice,

                                    through speaking out,

                                    and through defending those

                                    who are weak and oppressed.


                                    And may the blessing of God Almighty,

                                    the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

                                    be with us all, and those whom we love and care for,

                                    both this day and for evermore.


























Opening Words adapted from those written by Richard Bott,

posted on


Prayer adapted from one written by Katie Cook,

posted on

and from 500 Prayers for All Occasions by David Clowes

Copyright © 2003


Offering Prayer adapted from one written by Christine Longhurst,

posted on


Prayers of Intercession adapted from one posted on

from 500 Prayers for All Occasions by David Clowes

Copyright © 2003

and from Prayers for all seasons by Nick Fawcett

Copyright © 1998


Blessing adapted from Feasting on the Word© Worship Companion

Reprinted by permission of Westminster John Knox Press

Copyright © 2013



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