This week’s lessons can be found on pages 239 and 240 of the Book of Common Prayer. As always, I encourage you to read the lessons before coming to church. You will find that the entire service takes on more meaning when you are familiar with the texts being preached upon. Our second lesson this week is a powerful story about, yet again, a Samaritan! Last week we heard the story of the Good Samaritan, and this week we will hear the story of the thankful Samaritan.
Samaritans were, of course, those people living in what used to be the northern Kingdom of Israel. In the 10th Century BC, Israel became divided into two separate kingdoms - the Kingdom of Judah in the south, and the Kingdom of Israel in the north. The northern kingdom would eventually fall to the Assyrian Empire during the 8th Century BC, and its culture and religion would be forever changed, becoming increasingly distant from Judaism. (Read 2 Kings 17 for a description of this event.) For this reason, by the time of Jesus, Jews and Samaritans held great distrust for one another. And this is what makes both stories - the Good Samaritan and the thankful Samaritan - so surprising for the Jewish audiences that first heard them.
Join us this Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. as we explore this important text and its meaning for our lives today.