August 25, 2019: Opportunities of Healing and Rest

Jesus statue

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Everyone experiences the Sabbath day differently. We go to church. We eat. We rest. We work. We participate in different activities. We may not always find ourselves resting on the “day of rest.” Jesus was a teacher that taught lessons in different ways. Today, we read of these lessons and experience the presence of Jesus in our own lives.

In a chaotic world, this text from the Gospel of Luke reminds us that Jesus knows our needs and our pains, even if we do not speak of them. Opportunities of healing and rest find their way to us through the power of the Holy Spirit, whether we ask for them or not. Jesus is present with us and will bring healing and rest to us. As Luke writes, Jesus did not receive the woman’s request to be healed that day. Thankfully, Jesus followed the laws of God, not the laws of the land. That day, when he saw her bent over, Jesus knew the pain she was in and the great lesson it would be for those who gathered there that day to witness her healing experience.

Many people of that time could not see past their laws to avoid love’s obligations. No law can put a stop to the compassion and love of Jesus. Jesus’ reply to the people that day can serve as a reminder to all of us that religion is never an excuse to judge others. We are called as Christians to show love and mercy to others, no matter who they are or the cost of our own image when we extend our hand to show love and walk humbly with our brothers and sisters here on earth.

Hymn writer Jane Parker Huber challenges us, “May we each, as sister, brother, follow Christ, not counting cost, one in daring, one in sharing, follow Christ, not counting cost” (Moravian Book of Worship #627).

Victoria Lasley, associate pastor, Fairview Moravian Church
Winston-Salem, North Carolina