Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Today’s text

Luke 13:10-13

Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. 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.


I see no hesitation in you, Jesus.

You do not wait for her to ask for anything. You do not question her to check out whether she is good or worthy. You do not look for signs of faith or wonder if she is looking for God’s kingdom.

You do not know if she is a gentle soul or whether all that she has suffered has made her bitter and nasty, a scourge on the village whom everyone avoids.

The condition of her heart at this moment seems of no concern to you.

Your concern is singular: she must be set free.

All that matters is your mission, carrying out your work so that another kingdom, another way of being appears and beckons us to enter.

The way of your kingdom makes us nervous because it obliterates our judgments. We judge the worthiness of a human life by many measures, some known to us, many more utterly unconscious. Some we call good; others we reject.

That is not your way.

You do not walk the path of judgment and condemnation. Despite centuries of misunderstandings and misrepresentations the church has taught, you are not into guilt. You are not the Acme Judgment Company.

You are in the setting free business. You make things whole again, releasing bodies and souls from the bitter pains that enslave them so that they--that we, that I--might live free from all that prevents me from being human, graced and gracious.

That’s why you do not ask whether I or this crippled woman is deserving of your care. It is irrelevant.

All that matters is that we be set free and enter a way of being where judgments don’t count, even our judgments upon ourselves, because you have named us all beloved, leaving no place for guilt or deserving.

Such is the desire of your divine heart, a desire made clear when you heal and bless without request.

Pr. David L. Miller