Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gospel Lectionary Blog for 8/26/07

Luke 13:10-17 (New International Version)

New International Version (NIV)

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

A Crippled Woman Healed on the Sabbath

10On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." 13Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

14Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath."

15The Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?"

17When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

How do we put rules and schedules before people and God? The always "anal" Pharisees are at Jesus again, because he put the woman higher on his priority list than the rules of the church. I wonder how much we put rules, both written and unwritten, above people, above the church, and even above God. My younger brother is writing a journal about breaking social norms. He is going to break norms and write down people's reaction and how he felt at the time. This should prove to be a very interesting undertaking. It's funny how much we are used to some things and how much of our comfort and security lies in these things. I wonder if we put more of our comfort and security in God, maybe little things, like rules, wouldn't bother us as much... or at all!

The other thing that strikes me about this is how bold Jesus is. He is around the Pharisees, he knows how they are going to react, and he still does what he thinks is right... or in his case, I guess he knows it's right! As pastors and as Christians we seem to care more what people think than what is right. Somehow, the gospel has turned into making everyone like us, or keeping everyone happy instead of revolutionizing the world with God's infinite love!

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