Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Seeing it like it is!

Readings for this Sunday 26th August 2007 (proper 16) include:

Jeremiah 1:4-10 and Psalm 71:1-6; or (Isaiah 58:9b-14 and Psalm 103:1-8)
Hebrews 12:18-29
Luke 13:10-17


Religious people can be such gooses
so often we just don't get the sheer joy
of what it means to be alive in God
and what a great gift faith is
so we are often cast as hypocrites
and self-righteous know-it-alls
and, indeed, with some justification!

We have in these readings a very strong healing story perhaps one of the strongest
13:10 Now Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.

13:11 And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight.

13:12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, "Woman, you are set free from your ailment."

13:13 When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God.

13:14 But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, "There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day."

13:15 But the Lord answered him and said, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water?

13:16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?"

13:17 When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.

It is not difficult to understand what is going on here, though it is deceptively simple.
My initial reaction to this story was to wonder where I have been chronically crippled
Where have I carried a wound for 18 years or more?
I can find a couple of places
and I know that although there is a certain sense of self-indulgence in chronic oppression, possession, depression...however we choose to name it
---that is, we learn to live with it
and in a way perhaps we are frightened to live without it---
we also want to be free of it.
More than that
we need to be free of it.

Liberation on this sort of scale for human beings
is in the realm of desperation and fundamental hope.
When it is all said and done
we know where we need to be fixed
and we know when we want it....NOW!

It is unimaginable that Jesus would have said to this desperate woman
"Come back when the Office is open tomorrow, I'm at Church today!"
To be sure we say this sort of thing
But this is not how we imagine Jesus reacting.

Where is Jesus calling us to act, and calling us now?
Where do we hold back, for what ever pious reason, when Jesus is inviting us forward?

  • Ask the Spirit to show you where you need to be healed
  • Invite the Spirit to allow you to open your life and trust the healing that God wants to give.
  • Pray for that healing to happen

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