Thursday, 23rd Week after Pentecost

Text: Luke 10:25-37

Prayer Pointers:

To not be afraid

To remember that all good things come from God

To be the neighbor in moments of need

IN LOOKING AT THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, Martin Luther said that numbers five through ten were the “get out your house and go among your neighbors” commandments. These commandments turn our attention outward, giving us opportunities to improve the situation of those we encounter, whether we are talking about their bodies, their belongings or their reputation.

The heart of these commandments is found in the earlier commandments regarding God: when we are right before God, there is nothing to fear from our neighbors. God provides all that we need. God cares for us in every circumstance. What can our neighbors possibly do to us or take from us? Nothing that they can do deflects or defeats God’s good purposes for us. In his explanations of the commandments, Luther “unpacks” the situation Jesus describes in the parable of the Good Samaritan. The priest and the Levite avoid the man on the road because there is an implied threat or danger present, and because of that, they miss the chance to be the neighbor. This is the point on which Jesus catches the lawyer—these first two, upright though they are, are afraid and so are not neighbors. They walk away.

Luther insists there is no need to fear whatever danger we think the neighbor represents. Because we have nothing to fear, Luther can “turn the commandments around” from the way we normally read them. In each case, numbers 5 through 10 begin with the same solution: we are in Christ and so when we seek to advance or enhance a neighbor’s personal life, married life, or financial life Christ is found there. There is an abundant blessing for all!

A businessman named Walter Tschoepe once wrote “We tend to dwell on the dark side of life, and on the failings of others; because of this we become discouraged and unhappy and hold our hands tight. It is only when we open our hands, expectant for the blessing that God will give through others, that we find ourselves walking in the light of God.”

This is the way of the Good Samaritan.

May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks


Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

824 N. Buchanan Blvd. 

Durham, NC 27701

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824 North Buchanan Blvd, Durham, NC 27701 | 919-682-6030  |

Mission Statement: We are called to Welcome Everyone to Walk the Way of GRACE, and walk in that way in our individual lives, in our shared life in our various communities, in our common life with our neighbors, and even to the world at large as God sends us. The Way of Grace is to: GROW with Jesus, REJOICE in God, ANSWER with hope, CARE for the neighbor, and EMBRACE community.

Vision Statement: God has a plan FOR OUR LIVES, and so we teach how to walk in the path of Jesus Christ; FOR OUR NEIGHBORHOODS, and so we work to build healthy and strong communities; FOR OUR CITY, and so we share life with our neighbors in Walltown, Trinity Park, Duke, and the Triangle; and FOR OUR WORLD, and so we go with Good News.

Core Values: Because God loves us first, we value worship rooted in Scripture and Sacraments, service to all people, and being a welcoming community that loves and forgives one another.