Weekly Church Service – Pentecost 11: 25 August 2019

You, O Lord, are my hope, my trust from my youth. Upon you have I leaned since my birth.                                                   Psalm 71:5-6 

O God, the Judge of all,
through the saving blood of your Son
you have brought us to the heavenly Jerusalem
and given us a kingdom which cannot be shaken:
fill us with reverence and awe in your presence,
that in thanksgiving we and all your Church may
offer you acceptable worship;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives to intercede for us, now and for ever. Amen

  • Isaiah 1:4-10
  • Psalm 71:1-6
  • Heb 12:18-29
  • Luke 13:10-17

next week

  • Jeremiah 2:4-13
  • Psalm 81: 1, 10-16
  • Heb 13:1-8, 15-16
  • Luke 14:1, 7-14

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Jesus cures a crippled woman on the Sabbath:  “ . . . ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for 18 years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” 

The curing of the crippled woman on the Sabbath is found only in Luke’s Gospel (though Jesus performs similar miracles on the Sabbath in the other Gospels).  In this account, Jesus defies the sensibilities of the synagogue leader and cures a crippled woman on the Sabbath day.  In reprimanding Jesus, the elder argues that healing is a form of work and that any form of work profanes the Lord’s Day.  Jesus counters that the healing of this woman – a manifestation of God’s compassion – does not defame the Lord’s Day but sanctifies it. The official has become so obsessed with adhering to the letter of the law that he is unable to embrace the spirit of the law.   

In the healing of this woman – poor, sick, marginalized and female – Jesus again (as he does throughout Luke’s Gospel) proclaims that God’s reign has dawned and belongs not to the rich but to the people of the Beatitudes: the meek, the humble, the lowly, the suffering, the struggling. 

Jesus’ healing of the woman does not undermine the holiness of the Sabbath – on the contrary, the healing irrevocably links Sabbath prayer and ritual to the unlimited and unconditional mercy of God .

The healing Christ has entrusted us, who would be his disciples, with the work of God: compassion and forgiveness, reconciliation and justice, healing and peace. 

To be healed requires change, to consciously move beyond your own pain and to embrace the pain of others, to see beyond the bad we are experiencing to find the good, to refuse to be swallowed up in hopelessness and rediscover reasons to hope.  As Jesus says to the crippled woman, “you are set free of your ailment.”  While the pain does not disappear, the grace of God “frees” us to transform our lives and find new purpose in our broken but still very much meaningful lives.                                                                         © Connections/MediaWorks 

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