The gospel passage from the Lectionary a couple of weeks ago was LUKE 13:10-17. We journaled from it at thinplaceNASHVILLE, and I have been “chewing on it” since then.
Luke 13:10-17 New International Version (NIV)
On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and 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. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then 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?”
When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
Check out THE MESSSAGE version of Luke 13:10-17
Things feel more BENT OVER than healed on our planet and in our world right now. Hurricane Dorian, the fires in the Amazon, protests in Hong Kong, mass shootings. Maybe you’ve been feeling more BENT OVER than healed too…I know I have.
What are some of the things that have been keeping you BENT OVER?
Often for me, it’s the things that I cannot fix or change that get me down. Political situations and leaders who just keep doing stupid things and bringing hate to the world. These things BEND ME OVER. Also, things like Fear, Fatigue, and Anger cause me to BEND and stop me from receiving healing. Stuff like the construction project next door, the city council election in my neighborhood, old feelings of shame that I still carry around, comparison to others, procrastinating on projects…all of these cause me to live BENT OVER rather than in the freedom of Jesus’s love and healing.
I don’t want to live in bondage! I don’t want to live a life BENT OVER! I want to live in the freedom of Jesus, not bound by my fears, and not shackled by comparison, worry or the feelings of not being good enough. I love the fact that Jesus SAW HER! Jesus saw this bent over woman when no one else did. When no one else was paying attention, when people were avoiding her and refusing to even look at her, JESUS REALLY SAW HER! And as he does, JESUS had compassion on her! Jesus sets her free even before he touches her.
I need and want to remember that JESUS really sees me! JESUS sees me just as I am and he isn’t afraid or repulsed by my “bentoverness!” He isn’t shaming of my tendency to live bent over, rather than living standing up in healing and freedom. Jesus just calls me again and heals me again, reminding me that I am free and I don’t have to live a BENT OVER LIFE ANYMORE!
Jesus invites me and you again to freedom!
During our journaling time at thiniplaceNASHVILLE, Knox who is 8, drew me a picture of a “fancy whale.” This reminded me of Jonah, and how Jonah didn’t want to go to Ninevah because he knew that God would heal them. Jonah knew that God is forgiving and is about healing and Jonah didn’t want his enemies healed. Sadly, like the synagogue leader in the Luke passage and like Jonah, I too often don’t want to see my enemies healed either. I too often keep them in bondage in my mind or in my heart, or through gossip, criticism and fear. I need healing for this! I want to live in the abundance of love and healing of Jesus and allow others to receive and know this love and healing too! Even the president.
What is bending you over in your life right now? What things are keeping you bent over and causing you to feel broken, burdened or causing you to live “tied up” rather than in freedom? It might be physical, mental, emotional or things happening in our world. Talk to Jesus about this.
Where do you limit God’s healing or freedom? In your own life, or in the lives of others. When do you catch yourself stopping Jesus from healing you or others?
“The woman has been bent over, half herself, for one of her entire lifetimes. (every 18 years is a lifetime) She has adapted to her condition, accommodated her diminishment, for so long that she sometimes forgets to hope for more. But Jesus never forgets. He calls her to return, just as he calls to you and me. Can you hear him? Listen: “You are free.” Kayla McClurg Where are you needing freedom today?
Where have you felt or seen God’s blessings this week? Where would you like to see them or experience them in the days ahead?
Get a bunch of bandaids…keep them in a basket near your desk or keep the box where you can see it to remind you that you are healed and that JESUS SEES YOU! Just as you are, right where you are!
Think about the people in your life who need healing. Consider the people in your life who are LIVING BENT OVER rather than living in freedom. PUT ON A BAND AID and wear it to remind you to pray for these friends and loved ones, and even your enemies who may live “bent lives” because they don’t know the love of Jesus.
Take time to pray for people in your life who need healing. Take time to pray for places and people in our world who need to know the freedom and love of Jesus.
Use the Band aids to remind you that you don’t have to live BENT OVER anymore!
Remember, You and I don’t have to stay BENT OVER.
Remember, Jesus see us! He really SEES ME AND YOU! Jesus sees us when no one else does and wants us to stand up in his love and be free.
©lillylewin and freerangeworship.com