Week of: August 25, 2019
Scripture: Luke 13:10-17
When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God.
(Luke 13:13, NRSV)
In reading the 13th chapter of Luke, when Jesus healed the woman on the sabbath, I am reminded of Jesus’ radical grace. A woman showed up at the synagogue in need of healing. It does not mention that Jesus gave consideration to who she was, what happened to her, where she came from ... or provide any other detail. Jesus saw someone in need and his grace-filled response was to heal her.
Jesus also seemed to disregard sabbath law, which put him at odds with the religious leaders. He pointed out to them the inconsistencies in the law that would allow consideration of the needs of one group but not another group. Apparently, it was okay to tend to the needs of animals on the sabbath, but not humans. For Jesus, however, grace is available for all.
In our worship planning, we must not get so engrossed in what we are doing that we forget why we are doing it, leading us to neglect to offer grace to those in need. We must not be like the religious leaders at the synagogue who were more concerned about observing the law than helping people. Instead, we must be ever-mindful that our calling as worship artists is to help facilitate experiences for hurt people to be healed and offer praise, and for God's grace to be extended to them.
Gracious God, let us be ever-mindful that all we do is for your glory. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Sherri E. Wood-Powe
Pastor, Oak Chapel UMC
Chair, Baltimore-Washington Conference Worship Team
Silver Spring, MD
Photo: Congregants partake in communion at Music & Worship Arts Week 2019. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)