3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: A sermon for the 12th Sunday after Pentecost Proper 16 Jesus healing a woman on the sabbath

12th Sunday after Pentecost

Proper 16

Luke 13:10-17


"Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And there was a woman who had had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your infirmity." And he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, said to the people, "There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the sabbath day." Then the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger, and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?" As he said this, all his adversaries were put to shame; and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him." Luke 13:10-17, RSV.

Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

When somebody has a passion for something, it shows.

Glenda, the kids, and I attended the Perry County Fair on Thursday afternoon and evening. When we first arrived, we took a walk around the whole grounds, just to get the "lay of the land".

During our walk, I remember seeing this ancient car parked near one of the exhibition buildings. It was an old Dodge Aspen two door, probably from the late 70’s, 76 or 77. It was sort of a beige off - yellow color. It was near Regester Chevrolet’s display, but I knew it couldn’t be one of theirs. Who would want it? It was ugly and it was old! I wondered what on earth it might be doing at the Fair.

My answer came after supper. Tammy and Chris were off riding on the carnival rides. Glenda and I had Patrick on the kiddie rides. All of the sudden I heard this banging. At first I was puzzled, wondering what this could possibly be. A little while later I walked toward the noise. Then I saw it. A young man was standing on top of that old Dodge and beating the day lights out of it with a sledge hammer! Fascinated with the sight, I drew closer to the booth and discovered that it was a fund raising project for the Cub Scouts. One dollar would buy you a chance to take three swings at the car.

Later on in the evening, after Patrick got tired of riding the kiddie rides, he and I went over to watch them beat at that old Aspen. The spectacle drew quite a crowd! People, mostly young men, were taking turns whacking at the Aspen. Some swung at it about half heartedly. Others put their whole bodies into it.

The scene was dominated by three or four young men. They might have been twenty but they probably weren’t out of their teens. These men were really into it. When one of them was up, you could tell! They put their heart and soul into the task. Each time one of them were up, he climbed right up on the car to take his whacks. They whacked at it time and time again. They must have spent a week’s pay a piece in order to beat on the car!

There was a sense of purpose to their action. They had a system. You see, if you knocked a door off the car, you won $5. If you knocked a hole large enough to put an egg through, you won $1. Each of these men were trying to make holes in that car. When one of them were up, he would choose a spot and beat on it. When he finally made a hole, he stayed on the car and spent the dollar he earned on extra whacks.

Those men were into it! They were into beating that car into a hunk of twisted metal. On Friday morning, there is no doubt in my mind that they woke up quite sore. But they had fun giving money to the Cub Scouts and impressing their friends with their physical strength. They were passionate about the task!1

When somebody has a passion for something, it shows.

Jesus had a passion to be kind, caring and compassionate for those people suffering around him.

A little background. The synagogue was a place for men to worship. There was a place off to the side for the women and the two did not mix.

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