Our theme for this month: “Take care of each other”
Our Bible verse for today: “When Jesus saw her, he called out to her, ‘Woman, you are free of your disability.’ Then he laid his hands on her, and instantly she was restored and began to glorify God. But the leader of the synagogue (was) indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath …” Luke 13:12-14 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “People are more important than rules.”
Once, many years ago, in another church in another state, a young single mother came to see me who was a member of a different church. She had gotten pregnant out of wedlock and although she had been encouraged by friends and family to get an abortion, she chose to have and keep her baby. Now, as a new mother and as a Christian, she wanted to have her baby dedicated to the Lord in a Sunday morning worship service. She acknowledged that she was wrong to have had sex outside of marriage, but she did the right thing by having the baby, and now she wanted to do the right thing by dedicating her baby to the Lord and raising the child in church.
But, the Pastor and leaders of her own church refused. They were hardcore legalists, and they were determined not to do or say anything that could in anyway be perceived as possibly endorsing or winking at the sin that had led to the conception of this baby, so they told her they would not participate in dedicating the child to the Lord.
I disagreed with their position. Regardless of the circumstances that led to the pregnancy, here was a beautiful little baby and a mother who wanted to do the right thing for her child. Our job as the church was to help this young woman draw a line in the sand and go forward from there, honoring the Lord and raising her child well. So even though she wasn’t a member of our church, I invited her to come on a Sunday morning and we would gladly assist her in dedicating that baby to the Lord. The leaders and the congregation of our church all enthusiastically agreed, and that baby was dedicated to God.
In Luke 13:10-17 Jesus encountered a woman in the synagogue who had been crippled for eighteen years. Having compassion on her, he healed her and freed her from her long years of affliction, pain, and suffering. But when He did, the leader of the synagogue complained bitterly that the healing had been accomplished on the Sabbath, thereby (in his opinion), violating the law and tradition of not performing any work on the Sabbath. But Jesus informed all of them that this woman was much more important to God than any rule, regulation, tradition, or religious ritual, and that freeing her from her suffering was the right thing to do, regardless of any rules about working on the Sabbath.
The lesson here is that we shouldn’t let anything deter us in our efforts to take care of people, because taking care of people is more important than rules, regulations, traditions, religious rituals, or any other excuse we might come up with for not taking care of them.