In our Gospel lesson this morning Luke tells the story of Jesus healing a crippled woman on the Sabbath. Luke 13:10-17 For the woman who had been crippled by this spirit for the past eighteen years, meeting Jesus must have been the best thing that had ever happened to her. “When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, ‘Woman, you are set free from your ailment.’ When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God.” Luke 13:12-13
Not everyone was happy though. You’d think that the synagogue leaders would have been overjoyed to see the woman had been healed. The air should have been full of praise for the goodness of God following such a miracle in their midst. Sadly though, this couldn’t have been further from the truth. Instead of praise, the air was full of grumbling. Instead of thankfulness, legalism and love of their own rules blocked their vision. Instead of rejoicing at the presence of God at work in their midst, they were overcome with selfishness, pride and jealousy.
Meeting Jesus should have been the best thing that ever happened to them, but it seems that it was not only the woman who was in need of being set free of a crippling spirit. Because of their hardness of heart they missed out on discovering the freedom that comes from knowing Christ.
What about you then? When you come to worship, do you come expecting to meet the risen Jesus? Is your heart open to the power of his transforming love and the work of the Holy Spirit in your life? Are you willing to let meeting Jesus be the best thing that ever happens to you in your life? Or does it feel safer to keep your guard up and to keep your religion under control?
Set free by his truth and love, the crippled woman was born anew and rejoiced in the blessings of God. Jesus came to set us free from all that keeps us from each other and from God. What will you choose to receive? Will it be the blessing of freedom and life like the crippled woman or will you reject Jesus’ love and miss out on the greatest blessing you’ll ever know?
Till next time. Andrew
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Rev. Andrew Smith
Vicar of Light in the Hills