Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Good evening friends,
In yesterday's reading Jesus healed a man who had been unable to walk for years. In today's reading the religious leaders scold the man for carrying his mat on the Sabbath. In our time this feels like a really silly concern, but for Jewish leaders under Roman occupation every decision about following the commandments (including the Sabbath commandment to rest) must have felt like a possibility to support or turn away from God's rules that kept the community together.
Instead of thinking badly about the leaders, I invite us to consider where we have been inflexible with others. Where have you resisted, rejected or thought unkindly about someone because "you can't do/say/dress like that in church?" Where have you let appearances or manners keep you from seeing a miracle God might be trying to do in your community? Where have you let your own self criticism block a miracle God might want to work in your life?
May we all find God's healing,
Now that day was a sabbath. 10So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, “It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” 11But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’” 12They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” 13Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there.14Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.”15The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
16Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus, because he was doing such things on the sabbath. 17But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” 18For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God.