Now Jesus 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. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, "There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day." But the Lord answered him and said, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?" When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing. Luke 13:10-17
Sundays in my house growing up were kept as a Sabbath. After Sunday services, when my dad worked pretty hard, we came home, ate and all rested. It was boring as a child. My parents believed in naps, even when we didn't want to take them. When we came across country, when I was a baby, my mother strung a small hammock between the seats. We always found places to sleep, often inventive places. I learned recently from a brain specialist that it is only when we truly sleep that I bodies can do the work of healing. It doesn't happen when we are awake and working.
Jesus changes a woman's life taking pain and disfigurement away and giving her new hope and new life. He does it on the Sabbath and engenders the wrath of the religious leaders. They couldn't have known that healing only happens when there is deep rest. Jesus knew that healing and rest go hand in hand, mending only happens when there is sabbath. God invites us to seek healing in those deep places of rest, those places of sabbath, where worship and beauty can be fully celebrated. God invites us to be those who make places of deep rest and sabbath.
Today I ask God to Help me be a person of rest and healing. May we live lives of invitation, beauty and rest and may we help God's healing be available to all.