Lent of Love, Week 2: Loving Our Neighbor

Welcome to a Lent of Love.

This season, we’re taking a deep dive into Jesus’ central commandments: to love God, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Each Monday, we’ll post yesterday’s sermon visuals and audio, plus the postcard and some further thoughts to dwell on for next Sunday’s sermon.

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Join the conversation on Facebook.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.

– Pastor Emmy

This Sunday’s Sermon: “Loving God in the Face of Human Evil”


Next Sunday’s Scripture: Loving Our Neighbor

An expert in religious law presses Jesus: “And who is my neighbor?” In response, Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).

– Samaritans were a group of Israelites who broke away from the Jewish community. Jews and Samaritans avoided each other, and many hated and slandered each other.
– If Jesus told this story today, what “enemy” groups could he use?

– According to Jesus, a neighbor is:
* someone in need
* an enemy
* anyone we cross paths with
* someone who shows mercy
(check all that apply)

– Who has been a neighbor to you in a time of need?

– Why do the priest and Levite pass by? Touching a dead body would have made them unclean for seven days (Numbers 19:11-20) – they couldn’t do their holy Temple jobs.
– Is that a good reason?

– Say “hi” to each of your neighbors this week.

Why do the priest and Levite ignore the half-dead man? Perhaps because of the ritual uncleanliness it would have caused — but perhaps because they were in a hurry. Princeton psychologists in 1971 decided to replicate the story using seminary students to see who would stop and who wouldn’t…

“The 40 seminarians had heard no end of answers on ethical behavior, and they had preached a few themselves. Did they practice what they preached?Of the 40, a total of 16 stopped to help. Twenty‐four did not swerve from their path. One even stepped over the “victim” to get through the doorway he had mistaken for the one he wanted.What determined whether a man stopped to help—or passed by? The simple answer turned out to be not the personality or character of the seminarian, but simply whether he was in a hurry.”

– Israel Shenker, “Test of Samaritan Parable: Who Helps the Helpless?

Kaleidoscope is a new podcast exploding identity, faith, and social engagement in dangerous times. One of their first episodes is with M Barclay, a non-binary trans deacon in the United Methodist Church.

Listen to M’s story. Who are the neighbors in their life? How is M a neighbor to us?





A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota
Edited by Sun Yung Shin

“A Good Time for the Truth evokes every emotion, from sudden bursts of laughter to soul-wrenching sadness at what could and should have been. The writers show how America has failed to deliver on its promise, while they simultaneously paint a vision of our capacity to thrive when the color of our skin is no longer the gatekeeper into the garden of American Dreams.”
—Sia Her, executive director, Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans

Get it on Amazon or find it at your local library.



Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Join the conversation on Facebook.