After a first Sunday of the year with no preaching, yesterday took me back to Bangor, to Silverbirch Evangelical Church (which up until 10 years ago, before relocating to the edge of the town) was known as Holborn Hall. I had already preached there in January.
In the morning we had a look at the story of the Good Samaritan and the context of Jesus’ discussion with a Jewish legal expert who wanted to test Jesus by asking a question about eternal life.
This is one of those places where evangelical preachers are tempted to short-circuit the story and head straight for Romans. After all, “what should I do to inherit eternal life?” does not sit very well with the idea that eternal life is a gift from God. The problem with running too quickly to Romans is that we miss the force of Jesus’ challenge to the man – “go and do likewise” – and to ourselves as we are still tempted to walk past on the other side of the road. Eternal life is a gift from God and we are saved by faith, but, as James said, “faith without works is dead.”
Pauline has blogged on an application of the message – you can read her blog here.
In the evening it was Moses and the early years of his life that were marked by the role other people played (especially woman – his mother, his sister and the daughter of the king) and his life-changing decision to be identified with the Hebrews.