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Summary: The parable of the good Samaritan reveals different holiday attitudes.

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INTRO.- ILL.- An angry lady went into a grocery store and told a clerk that she wanted a half-head of lettuce and she wanted it right now. "Get going!" she screamed at the clerk.

"But lady," said the clerk, "we don’t have half heads of lettuce." "Young man," she shrieked, "get a knife and cut a head in two." "Yes ma’am," he said, "Let me go back and talk to the manager."

He found the manager and said, "There’s a crabby woman out there who wants one-half head of lettuce." He suddenly glanced over his shoulder and there stood the woman. He quickly said, "AND HERE IS THE NICE LADY WHO WANTS THE OTHER HALF."

Brothers and sisters, what’s your attitude? Most people have "an attitude." They have an attitude about life. Some have a good attitude. While others have a very different attitude about life.

ILL.- Remember the popular TV series called "The A Team"? One of the stars was B.A. Baracus. What did the BA stand for? BAD ATTITUDE. Mr. T (Laurence Turead) played the part of B.A. Baracus.

ILL.- Simeon Ford, the proprietor of the Old Grand Union Hotel in New York, said, "You don’t need to know anything about a hotel to run one," he said. "You just open up and the customers tell you how to run it." WHAT DID HE MEAN BY THIS?

I think he meant that most people are quick to gripe and complain about something if they don’t like it. Most of us are this way. If we see something we don’t like, we are quick to say something about it. But if we see something we like, we tend to keep our mouths shut.

Gripers and complainers have a bad attitude about life. It seems they are always looking at things in a negative way. On the other hand, people who have a good attitude about life try to focus on the good things of life and the good in people. They are generally quick to give thanks and to praise others.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What’s your attitude about life?

ILL.- Here is a better way to view life. Because of the housing shortage near the military base where he was stationed, a young doctor and his wife and three children had to live in cramped quarters in a hotel. A friend said to the doctor’s six-year-old daughter, "Isn’t it too bad that you don’t have a home?" To which the philosophic young one replied, "Oh, we have a home; we just don’t have a house to put it in."

ILL.- Both the hummingbird and the vulture fly over our nation’s deserts. All vultures see is rotting meat, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet. But hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful blossoms of desert plants. The vultures live on what was. They live on the past. They fill themselves with what is dead and gone. But hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new life. They fill themselves with freshness and life. Each bird finds what it is looking for. We all do.

Which are you? Vulture type or hummingbird type?

PROP.- In the parable/story of the good Samaritan we have three basic attitudes that people have toward others. We need to think about them during this holiday season.


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Talk about it...

Tony Earl

commented on Nov 23, 2006

Thank you very much for the fresh look at the good Samaritan. Holiday sermons can get stale after a few years. Nice to get fresh bread. PTL

Gary Pettyjohn

commented on Nov 2, 2007

Hey Steve, I really liked this sermon. The illustrations are excellent. Thanks, Gary

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