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This Week at JMPC 8.18.19

As I read the text surrounding the Parable of the Good Samaritan, I am reminded of a scene in the movie “Monte Python and the Holy Grail”. King Arthur and his knights must cross the Bridge of Death. As they approach an old man stops them. He is the “bridge keeper”. He says this to the troupe, “Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.” He then asks each one three questions. The first two are the same for all. “What is your name?” “What is your quest?” The third question is different. For some it is “What is your favorite color?” For others it is a trick. They don’t know the answer and so are cast into the chasm of death. Finally, Arthur steps up. “What is your name?” “Arthur, King of Britain.” “What is your quest?” “To find the Holy Grail.” Then this: “What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?” This is the “gotcha” question. But Arthur responds with his own question. “African or European?” (You have to see the movie to understand why Arthur asks this question.) The bridge keeper does not know the answer to Arthur’s question and so is cast into the volcano.
In the text this week Jesus is asked what must be done to inherit eternal life. He answers that we are to love God and love our neighbor. Loving neighbor means to be … well … neighborly. Easy! (That was last week’s lesson in part 1 of the Good Samaritan sermon series.) But then the questioner asks the “gotcha” question. “Who is my neighbor? “He is like the bridge keeper. He wants to trap Jesus. Jesus will not be trapped. Jesus asks his own question. It is a better question. Come and hear about it on Sunday August 18 when Pastor Jeff preaches “Who is my neighbor?” based on Luke 10: 25-37, the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Part 2. Come and finish up the summer with us at John McMillan Presbyterian Church at 9:30.

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