God on Monday
“There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured
and not on the Sabbath day” (Luke 13.10-17 (v14b))
At the heart of Jesus’ mission is fullness of life. If we are Christians, we have joined in that mission. But in our busyness we often allow it to be subsumed by things that claim to be more important – things like strategic objectives, team targets, sales, SMART indicators, evaluations, standards, compliance procedures, and deadlines. We thereby embrace attitudes, behaviours and practices that honour our productivity-driven culture more than God.
The verse above is from an account in Luke’s gospel that reflects false priorities on the part of a synagogue leader. He is outraged that Jesus has broken a religious precept by healing on the Sabbath. The irony in Luke’s story is that this leader, an expert in what God requires, mistakes obedience to God as disobedience.
Jesus’ choice for fullness of life was not easy or straightforward. It required the capacity to see the woman that other people ignored, the audacity to call her forward, and the empathy to touch her and heal her, despite it being the Sabbath. It also required him to have the courage to challenge Hebrew law. For Jesus, obedience to the letter of the law was less important than this woman’s physical, emotional, spiritual and social healing.
In the face of false priorities that threaten to overwhelm us, we need to prioritize the well-being of others. Jesus’ culturally offensive action changed this woman’s life. He restored to this ‘daughter of Abraham’ her dignity and identity.
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what ‘false priorities’ may be competing in your life with what God cares about.
In prioritizing compassion over culture, Jesus saw, called, and touched. What actions do we need to take to follow his example?
Grant us dear Lord the grace to see with your eyes, to acknowledge your call on people’s lives, and to touch others with your healing hands. Help us to care about what you care about. Give us courage and wisdom as we challenge cultural norms that contravene your loving purposes.
Maria Alejandra Andrade Vinueza, Tearfund, Theology and Network Engagement Global Lead
God on Monday is produced in partnership with the Church of England. The reflections are based on the scriptural readings designated for the coming Sunday in the Church's lectionary. You can sign up to Faith in Business here to receive each God on Monday instalment.
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