Scripture: Luke 13:10-17
Reflection: There is a story about a man named Glenn Ford, who served a 30-year prison sentence for a crime he did not commit. On the day he was finally released, his attorneys offered to take him anywhere he wanted to go to enjoy his first meal on “the outside”. They drove by a place he remembered that had long since closed. As they were deciding where else they could try, he saw a “Hot and Now” sign lit up at a neighboring donut place, and decided a warm donut would be a great first meal. So, the group drove over and parked their cars and hopped out to walk toward the door. When his companions got to the front of the restaurant they looked around for Glenn, and realized he was still sitting in the car – behind an unlocked door. It hadn’t even occurred to him that he could open it.
The story in Luke 13 is about a woman who had been held captive by a spirit for 18 years who is set free by Jesus. But, actually, it is the folks at the synagogue who witnessed Jesus’ healing of her, who remind me of Glenn Ford. Here they are in the presence of the One whose love brings freedom and life, and they get worked up about Sabbath rules. Here, they’ve witnessed someone who has been given a new lease on life, and they wonder aloud if this is what God intends during worship. They are like ex-prisoners still confined behind an unlocked door.
The freedom that God offers in Christ is available to us all – and with it comes new life, a second chance. So often, we miss God’s invitation to be free from those things that diminish our living. Too often, we forget that worship, fellowship, Sunday School – all of it! – is about creating communities where new life can be experienced and celebrated.
Thanks be to the God who continues to offer that invitation to freedom each and every day.
Prayer: Dear God, give me the courage to let go of the things that hold me captive – and to trust you as they let go of me. Amen.
Author: Anna Dickson
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].