The Holy Gospel: August 25, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 13:10-17

Meditation:  “People Are Waiting”

This is a hard passage for those of us who are professionally religious.  The synagogue-leader’s religious indignation is the foil for showing what God’s mercy looks like, leaving the leader’s view stinking like rotten eggs.

And the crowd loves it!  Most likely because even the general public can tell when something good is happening.

Perhaps the best current illustration is the massive, positive evaluation of Pope Francis.  I was part of a conversation a while back with some guys who are not particularly “religious” and all of them were saying how refreshing it was to them to see a Pope speaking and acting the way he is.

It is both inspiring and challenging to see the crowd’s rejoicing in today’s lesson–a rejoicing when the Jesus way trumps religiosity.

The synagogue leader is an example, even today, of the kind of religion that turns people off, and away.  Jesus’ healing of the bentover woman on the sabbath is the kind of grace the world hopes for.  Thank God that when they do not see it in the church, they stiil see it in the Christ.

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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