Every felt bent-over from your burdens, weights of life, besetting ailments, persistent distractions? Sure! We all have. This week we meet a woman who entered the synagogue and heard Jesus say, “I love you!” But that’s not all. In front of the whole assembly of neighbors, Jesus said, “I see you!” But wait, there’s more! Jesus also said, “I will make you new!” And he did. We notice people just like that woman in our sanctuary every week. Have you ever noticed:
- The elderly woman dismissed due to her age and creeping memory loss.
- The young person tolerated for their energy
- The visitor who entered the service late, sat in the back row, and left before the benediction.
- The young mother nodding off in the third pew, exhausted from working two minimum wage jobs while raising her children.
- The long-time member with stories too painful to voice.
- The vacationer who is over-burdened with life experiences
- The neighbor who struggles with addiction that takes its toll of their family
The miracle of this story is not only physical healing, it is community seeing. Jesus sees the woman, calls her, frees her of her heavy burdens and, the entire community noticed her, too. The leader of the synagogue, incensed at Jesus’ action on the Sabbath, calls to the crowd, repeatedly, “There are six days on which work ought be done; come on those days to be cured, and not on the Sabbath day.” Wow. Let’s love, see, and with God’s empowerment, make all things new for everyone! Now we see those previously disregarded and stooped-over. They (and us) will no longer be ignored. Who do you notice?!