Good Time for Liberation
Devotional for the week of August 21st, 2022
Luke tells us that Jesus had such compassion for an ailing woman that he healed her without waiting. It’s hard to imagine what it was like for her to be bent over for eighteen years. Anyone who has known back pain knows how debilitating it can be. The image of her stooped over is quickly transformed when she is healed, is liberated from her ailment, and stands up straight. She is set free from pain and social isolation. She spontaneously praises God. How could she not?
Some people present with Jesus and the woman did not celebrate or praise God. They complained that Jesus’ timing was bad. It was the Sabbath day. Sabbath is a holy gift from God given for God’s people to have rest, to be free from the burdens of labor, and to enjoy life in community with one another and God. Some thought restrictions against doing work meant it was a bad time for healing. They failed to see that as good as Sabbath-keeping is, there is never a bad time for healing. It is always the right time to liberate people from whatever disease and oppression keeps them bent over and suffering.
Luke’s message is that Jesus comes to bring God’s liberation for the poor, oppressed, sick, and sinful. Through mercy granted unconditionally, a new world is formed in Christ where it is always a good time for healing and liberation. Just as Jesus lifted up the woman bent over in pain, God lifts up the lowly and humble to give them life and liberty.
God surprises us with grace that comes even when we think it can’t be the right time. Whether it is God claiming us in Christ through baptism, or granting healing from disease, or lifting up people bent over from marginalization, it is always the right time. How could we not offer our spontaneous praise as we are lifted up by such good news?
Devotional message and art based on the readings for August 21st, 2022 reprinted from sundaysandseasons.com.
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