Thursday, October 2, 2014

Stretch Out Your Hand

One sabbath while Jesus was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them. But some of the Pharisees said, "Why are you doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?" Jesus answered, "Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and gave some to his companions?" Then he said to them, "The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath."
On another sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him to see whether he would cure on the sabbath, so that they might find an accusation against him. Even though he knew what they were thinking, he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come and stand here." He got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, "I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to destroy it?" After looking around at all of them, he said to him, "Stretch out your hand." He did so, and his hand was restored. But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus. Luke 6:1-11

Watching a cooking competition recently, I was struck by how easy it is for us to pass judgement on the work of others when most of the judgement is a matter of taste. Not of right and wrong, but what appeals to us in a given moment. We judge people work and life, not on the quality of their living but by what appeals to us and our sense of things. When we look back from a distance, we can see our "tastes" change, just as our sense of fashion and style change with the whims of the world.

Jesus is judged negatively on two occasions by the religious correctness squad. He encourages his disciples not to starve on one occasion and.heals a man on another. The judges were furious because he wasn't abiding by their laws and their sense of fashion. But the love of God is always creative, always healing and always making us whole. God's love is not meant to break us, to starve us, or to engender suffering. The judgment of humans is often out of sync with God's love. We are invited today to move towards God's love, towards creativity, compassion and away from judgement.

Today I ask God to help me move towards divine love. May we not look at others in judgement but rather to see how we can be of service. May we not see their lack, but our invitation to love as God would have us today.

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