Prayer: Dear Lord, I am thankful for your everlasting presence in my life. Your love and healing have no limits. Amen.
Reading: Luke 13: 10-17 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Luke 13: 12-13 “When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.”
This passage is very special to me because I grew up with severe scoliosis. Although I was not physically bent over like the woman described in this passage, I experienced a lot of pain – both physically and mentally—due to the curvature of my spine. There were many times when I felt excluded because of this. I faced physical limitations in gym classes. I found myself unable to participate in track meets. Soon I became very self-conscious – thus excluding myself from many other social activities — as the small hunch on my shoulder became more prominent.
We are reminded of two things in this passage; the first is the power of tradition. In this passage, the synagogue ruler accuses Jesus of breaking the rules of the Sabbath – a sacred tradition – by healing the woman on this day. Jesus tells the man, though, that this woman deserves to be saved from Satan and her physical infliction even on the Sabbath day. Because of this, we are also reminded to check our traditions so that they do not harm or exclude any of his followers.
Fortunately for me, I underwent a surgery when I was sixteen that corrected the scoliosis that had plagued me throughout my younger years. Although I faced new limitations as I healed, I knew that my life had suddenly changed for the better, and for this I praised God, just as the woman in this story praised him when Jesus relieved her of her affliction. By doing this, he reminds us that no tradition should become so powerful that it becomes greater than the will of God. --Courtney Dunn
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