The Holy Gospel: August 22, 2010 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 13:10-17

Meditation:  “Surprised By God”

The day began for the woman much the same as it had for as long as she could remember.  Sabbath—get ready to go to the synagogue.  God must be worshipped and praised.

The last eighteen years had made getting ready increasingly difficult.  At first, it was nothing more than the usual aches and pains—the kind you have as you get older.  But it didn’t stop there.  Slowly but surely, the pain increased and at the same time, her spine began to curve over.  Visits to the doctors yielded a diagnosis, but no cure.  By the time she came to this Sabbath morning, she was so seriously stooped that she could not straighten up.

Everything she used to do without thinking was now a slow, painful, and laborious task.  She never felt properly dressed and groomed, but the desire for that had long since faded away.  The only people who looked at her nowadays did so with pity.  She didn’t see most of them anyway; her view was mostly toward the ground.

That’s why she was so surprised to hear Jesus call her name and ask her to come to him.  Her name was rarely spoken in public anymore, much less in the synagogue.  But there was no mistaking it—Jesus was calling for her.

As she shuffled toward Jesus, he said, “Woman, you are free from your ailment” (v. 13), and as he laid his hands on her, she straightened up!  It was a dream.  She would wake up soon, and everything would be back like it had been.

But no—this was not a dream.  It had happened.  It was real.  She was standing up!  She was looking directly into the face of Jesus, and she was seeing the face of God looking back at her.  Praise erupted in waves, replacing the shooting pain which had previously ravaged her.  She was healed!

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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1 Response to The Holy Gospel: August 22, 2010 (Year C)

  1. Prof! Thank you for your words that heal. I had not noticed the fact that Jesus had called out to her. What a great detail! To know that Jesus calls out to us in our pain and chains, is a striking reminder of His power, authority, and amazing compassion. Jesus surely is our Redeemer and Friend. Thank you for pointing that out. Blessings!

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