10th July 2022 – The Fourth Sunday Trinity Eucharist

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22 07 10 The Fourth Sunday after Trinity Eucharist

The Readings

Colossians 1.1-14

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow-servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Luke 10.25-37

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall 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 your neighbour as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’


New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

The Sermon
By Revd Alan Billings

‘Teacher, what shall I do to be saved?’

This is the lawyer’s question to Jesus in today’s gospel. ‘What shall I do to be saved?’ I
can’t imagine anyone asking anyone else that question today. Even if Jesus came and
stood among us, I can’t think that anyone would say to him. ‘What must I do to be saved?’
We don’t have at the forefront of our minds these days burning questions about life beyond
this one. We don’t fret and worry – at least not often and perhaps not at all – about what
we must do to be saved.

But we might ask other questions which in some ways come to the same thing.

What the lawyer wants to know is how do I live now in a way that would please God. Or to
put it another way, What does a good life – a morally good life, a life worth living - look
like? This is something that we are just as concerned about today, though we might not
always have that Godly reference.

We want to live a good life, a morally good life, a worthwhile life, the sort of life that our
friends or our children or grandchildren might be proud of. We want to be able to say to
ourselves, I lived well; and we would like to believe that is what others think about us also.
There have been times in our country’s history when we have taken this very seriously
indeed. If we’d had the money, we would have made sure that, after our death, everyone
knew what kind of a person we were and what kind of a life we had lived.

At one time in my life I lived in Bristol and just down the road was the town of Bath with its
beautiful Abbey church. If you ever visit Bath Abbey you might want to look at the walls on
which are many eighteenth century memorial plaques that bear out what I’m saying.
Plaques put up to record the lives of worthy deceased citizens.

These are just a few lines from some of those plaques. As you read them you quickly
realise what sort of qualities would qualify as evidence of a good life:

He – the person being commemorated – had ‘unaffected Piety, uniform Benevolence and
Inflexible integrity’.

Another says the deceased had ‘polished Manners, inflexible Integrity, and the warmest
Benevolence of Heart’.

A woman is described in this way: ‘One of the most valuable women that ever lived, whose
principal Happiness consisted (Altho’ she was of some rank) in a real and unbounded
Affection and Tenderness for her husband and children.’

We do something similar today in the tributes people give at funerals. We call to mind all
those qualities which we in our generation think make a life good, morally good, and so
worth living and commemorating.

But we don’t have to die to answer the question, What does a good life – a morally good
life - look like?

People in certain high profile jobs, for instance, as they come towards the end of them, will
often talk about their legacy. How would I like to be remembered? What does a good life, a
morally good life, a life worth living, what does that look like?

I think we saw that this week. When the Prime Minister resigned he recounted in his
speech the things he wanted to be remembered for. His loyal colleagues are even now in
articles in Sunday papers and in radio and television interviews doing the same. They are
trying to secure his legacy. They are answering that question, What does a good life look
like – if you’ve had the best job in the world?

Whether they convince us is another matter. But that is in essence what they are doing.
What must I do to be saved? How should I live?

Of course, if we are to answer that question, we have to be honest with ourselves. We
have to have a willingness to see ourselves as we really are. To see ourselves as others
see us – as Robbie Burns put it. To see ourselves as God sees us. The person who is
saved, who lives well, is the one who has good self-knowledge, who is transparent to
themselves. There is no more tragic a person than the deluded, who cannot see
themselves as God sees.

In today’s gospel Jesus gives a very practical and direct answer to the question the lawyer
puts to him. What must I do to be saved.

I’ll tell you, says Jesus, with a story. And so we have the story of the Good Samaritan.
Live like this, respond to those in need, not on the basis of whether they share your
religion, or your race, whether they are a friend or a relative, but simply on the basis of
what you can do to help someone in need – live like this and you will be saved. Live like
this and you will be living the morally good life, the life worth living, the life that pleases

The Prayers
Prepared by Catherine B

Let us pray to God the Father,
who has reconciled all things to himself in Christ:
For peace among the nations,
that God may rid the world of violence
and let peoples grow in justice and harmony …
We pray for the people of Japan following the violent death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. We continue to remember the people of Ukraine, Russia, Syria, and Yemen.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

For those who serve in public office,
that they may work for the common good …
We pray for our government following this last week of massive upheaval,
that wisdom may prevail as a new Prime Minister is chosen.
We pray for local politicians and all others working for their own neighbourhoods,
giving thanks for all who worked tirelessly to put on the many enjoyable events that have taken place in this year’s Walkley festival.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

For Christian people everywhere,
that we may joyfully proclaim and live our faith in Jesus Christ …
For all who give their time and energy locally at St. Mary’s, St. John’s and St. Mark’s.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

For those who suffer from hunger, sickness or loneliness,
that the presence of Christ may bring them
health and wholeness …
In a few moments’ silence we remember those known to us especially.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

For all who have died,
and those who mourn the loss of a loved one
thinking of any known to us especially.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Let us commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray,
to the mercy and protection of God.

Merciful Father
Accept these prayers
For the sake of your Son
Our saviour, Jesus Christ


Common Worship, Services and Prayers for the Church of England, material from which is used here is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2000 - 2005