In an amazing and unusual discovery, a small segment from the gospel of Luke was found stuffed in the face mask of a dead third century Pharaoh. It seems material for mummification is hard to come by, so any piece of parchment will do. In this case, it was a lost part of the gospel of Luke. Luckily, with my secret informant in Cairo, Abdul Bar Nero, I have been allowed to share it with my readers. It follows Jesus’ story of the Samaritan Jesus used as an example of someone who lived out the commandment to love one’s neighbor as oneself, as found in Luke 10. It is as follows.
As Jesus and his disciples made their way to Bethany, a discussion arose among them concerning the Samaritan. They were afraid to speak to Jesus about the matter, because Jesus had seemed so clear about his reason to tell the story. James was the first to speak. “I don’t know about you brothers, but I’m having trouble with that Samaritan story the Master told back there.”
“Tell me about it brother!” said John. “We just got tossed out of one of their villages, which is the highest social insult, and he says their kind can have eternal life! He wasn’t born yesterday! He knows they are heretics who are not part of the people of God. That was settled centuries ago!”
Peter said, “Look, maybe it was just one of those shock stories he uses to put somebody in their place. You know how those experts in the law are. You know he was just trying to make Jesus look bad. Don’t take it seriously. Once a Samaritan always a Samaritan.”
Matthew said, “Well, if I ever decide to tell about our adventure with the Master, I’m not going to tell about that guy! If we’re going to have any credibility as followers of the Messiah, we can’t be aligned with Samaritans! It would make Ezra and Nehemiah turn over in their graves! They wouldn’t even let the returning exiles keep the wives they married in Persia.”
“Forget all that,” said Judas. “What are we supposed to do if Jesus meant what he said? You let the camel stick his head in the tent and the next thing you know, you’ve got the whole camel! Do you know what this will do to the purity of Judaism? Okey, so you treat a Samaritan the way you’d want him to treat you. Then what if he invites you over for dinner? It’s one thing to treat them right, but it’s another to socialize with them. You’ve seen the signs on the hostels that say ‘Jews only’. And those Samaritan women! Would you want your son to marry one?”
Andrew said, “I know what you mean. The rabbi’s say the devil lives in Samaritan women.”
Peter said, “Quiet down! Jesus is starting to wonder why we are lagging behind. Let’s get something straight. Jesus just said we had to treat them right. He didn’t say anything about eating with them. He didn’t say we had to worship with them. All he said was if we found one beaten up, we should help. That’s all. You have to be careful not to see more in what the Master said than he actually said. When Jesus says something, don’t add to it. All we have to do is treat Samaritans right. We do not have to believe they are the same as us. You just let them know there is a line that can’t be crossed.”
Andrew said, “But what if Jesus means this is how it will be in the coming kingdom? What if he meant everybody? You know, Gentiles?”
“That will never happen,” said Peter. “And if that’s what Jesus meant, it will take centuries. You can’t make changes quickly.
Bartholomew was listening to the rest of them and finally spoke. “But what about the lawyer’s question? He asked what he could do to have eternal life. The Master said the Samaritan did what it takes to have eternal life. That was the question. Remember? It seems to me the Master is basing relationship with God on how we relate to others, not rules and teachings. I think he said the Samaritan did what it takes to have eternal life.”
James said, “Bart, you’ve been eating too many fermented grapes…”
The text broke off at that point.
CONCERNS: Teryn Thompson as asked prayers for her sister as she has tests. Judy Hall hurt her back, and T. J.’s heart has been monitored. Remember those who have had to deal with recent losses. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, (leukemia) Kim Hall’s friend, Mary (MS) Betty Foy’s sister, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson and Gil Richardson. Jim Hunter is making some progress. Rich Crites, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood. Remember also Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder, Mary Smith, and Mrs Mataro, and Wayne Flora’s postmaster, Todd Baumgardner, who is awaiting a kidney transplant.
OUR DAILY BREAD: FEB. 2-7
Monday: Joshua 4:14-18
Tuesday: Acts 9:1-9
Wednesday: James 5:1-18
Thursday: I John 5-2:6
Friday: Hebrews 12:1-14
Saturday: Psalm 38:1-18
OUR DAILY BREAD: FEB. 9-14
Monday: Job 38:1-18
Tuesday: Isaiah 25:1-5
Wednesday: Psalm 37:1-17
Thursday: Luke 18:35-19:10
Friday: John 18:1-14
Saturday: Hebrews 13:1-21
The new directory is being formulated. If you have not turned in an information card, the information about you will be taken from the old copy.
Pictures for the new one will be scheduled soon.
We’ve learned that Nathan Beach got married. He and his new bride live in Spain. Joni was able to fly over for the wedding. We wish them the very best.
FROM LEENA BOLIN AND FAMILY
Dear Roanoke Family
Where do I begin? First, thank you for the spectacular floral arrangement you sent to Oakey’s. Mom would have loved it! Flowers were such an integral part of her life; such a lovely arrangement was truly a fitting tribute.
Thanks also to everyone who provided all the delicious food after the funeral. We were reminded of your love for us with every bite.
Finally, words cannot express the depth of my gratitude for the ongoing love and support you have shown me and my family throughout our journey with mom, most especially during these last difficult months. Your prayers buoyed us, your words encouraged us, your offers of help warmed our hearts and your hugs reminded us we were not alone. We remain forever grateful.
Love you all, Leena and family
For years the adult classroom has been plagued with noise from a recirculating air vent in the back wall. No one is sure why it was placed there. In the coming weeks it will be vented along the wall and out into the hallway. This will take away the noise as well as provide better and more efficient air circulation.
REMEMBER THE NEW ADULT CLASS
We are in the third week of the adult class where we are reading the New Testament as if it were written in book form, with Luke and Acts being read first. If you want to take part and need a book see Mike Branch or Susan Jordan.