So those of you who were at church today or read the sermon posted would know that I was out at Cultus Lake this past week for a short camping trip with my two boys and my siblings and their kids. And you might also know that I’m not much of a camper, in that I don’t have a lot of experience or knowledge around the subject. A friend of mine goes somewhat often, and he told me that he loves it because it’s really relaxing. He just sits by the fire and drinks a beverage of choice, and that is basically it.
That sounded awesome to me.
But that was not at all my experience. I did get to sit by the fire, yes, but that was only at night after the kids were fed and everything cleaned up. Also there were the frequent bathroom trips, the warding off of mosquitoes and other wildlife, and making sure our devices were charged well enough in our cars without draining our car batteries.
It was actually kind of stressful at times.
We wanted to fill our days with activities. Hikes, beaches, water slides, etc. I was looking forward to just sitting around the fire with a beverage of choice and enjoying the company of my kids and my siblings and their kids. Instead, we enjoyed each other’s company on hikes, beaches, water slides, etc., and even a little bit by the fire too….
…which I guess was the point, wasn’t it?
Growing up, I had a hard time with this gospel story because I was always taught there are rules and you need to follow them. I never actually learned what the reasons were behind the rules, I just did as they said. Some rules were easy to follow, some were not as much. So I completely understood the synagogue leader’s indignation toward Jesus healing on the Sabbath, because technically Jesus is breaking a rule. In fact, as I was growing up, I might have even sided with the leader on this one.
I mean that Sabbath is a holy day. It is sacred. It is a time of rest, of re-energizing, of reconnecting with God after a long hard week. It is a time that frames our whole way of life, as we give one day of the week to God and allowing our bodies to recover from the hardship we put them through during the week.
I guess we can say that the Sabbath is healing. Healing not just to our bodies, but to our minds and souls. And… I guess that is what Jesus did too when he healed the woman who wasn’t able to stand straight for 18 years. He healed her body in that she was no longer crippled. He healed her mind in that she could be welcomed back into community again. He healed her soul as she can stand tall and see the things around her and how God is present and active in her life and in the lives around her.
So Jesus wasn’t really breaking any rule. He was just expressing it in a different way. Just as my siblings and I were still camping although we weren’t camping in the same way my buddy would. We were just camping in a different way. We went to enjoy each other’s company and that is what happened. This woman went to be healed on the Sabbath and that is what happened. We go to church to worship God using different forms and traditions and worship is what happens.
Let us continue to express our worship, our joy, and our love, in the ways that we express them, and may we be healed by God in body, mind, and soul! Have a great week, everyone!