Wednesday, November 5, 2014

When Bent People Go to Church

Thursday, November 6, 2014
One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, he saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit.  She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight.  When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness!”  Then he touched her, and instantly she could stand straight.  How she praised God!  But the leader in charge of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day.  “There are six days of the week for working,” he said to the crowd.  “Come on those days to be healed, not on the Sabbath.”  But the Lord replied, “You hypocrites!  Each of you works on the Sabbath day!  Don’t you untie your ox or your donkey from its stall on the Sabbath and lead it out for water?   This dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years.  Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?”  This shamed his enemies, but all the people rejoiced at the wonderful things he did.  Luke 13:10-17 (NLT)
So this woman was healed on the Sabbath…some big crime, eh? 

More than thirty years ago my wife, Elizabeth had something of the same experience.  One day she noticed a lump in her chest, and we began the worrying process. 

On a Saturday evening while we were visiting her parents, Elizabeth showed the lump to her mother, who examined it, felt it with her own hands and ordered my wife to get it checked.  Elizabeth made a mental note to call the doctor on Monday.

That next day we went to church.  It was Pentecost Sunday, and the sermon and music were all about the fire of God coming down, and the birth of the church.  While we stood and sang a hymn about the Holy Spirit’s touch, Elizabeth felt a burning in her chest.  Feeling for the lump she could find nothing…and to this day there has been no evidence that there ever was anything there. 

Except, of course the testimony of three people who know beyond all doubt there was something there before the Great Physician visited on that Pentecost Sunday; that lump was burned away by the hand of God…ON THE LORD’S DAY! 

A young child drew a wonderful picture of a church.  The stick people figures going in the front door were bent and dejected.  Emerging out the back door were other, larger, straighter stick people. 

The child’s Mom asked what the meaning was.  The little girl replied That’s how it is when you go to see Jesus; when you go in you’re all broken-down…He straightens you up and you feel much better!

For You, Today

How many bound and bent people do you know?

And, this week, will they see in you the One who can make them straight?

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