Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Scripture: Psalm 71: 1-6;
Luke 13: 10 – 17
No one can deny the fact that our lives are fragile regardless of what we do with it. Therefore, the Psalmist experience is similar to ours in most ways. For instance, the Bible says that “In you, O LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me. Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress (Ps 71:1-3). You see, our confession is similar to the praise of Psalmist because we have our struggles, pain, and tears that are sometimes not visible to the naked eye. Therefore, we need God’s righteousness and strength to give us hope and trust.
In the context of COVID-19, we re-think God and what s/he has done for us. We ask the question, where is God in our fragile lives? In our belief system, God is everywhere with those who are voiceless and vulnerable. However, to be honest, it seems that God is not here with us. Rather God seems to disappear in our struggle against COVID-19. Is there really no hope for us to give us resistance against such pain, even though the Psalmist says that Lord is hope?
The title of Luke 13:10-17 is that Jesus heals a crippled woman. We read that there is a woman who has been crippled for eighteen years, meaning religious leader would attend to her spirtual need. Unlike the religious leaders, Jesus saw her and said “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” As the Bible has written, she immediately stood straight when Jesus laid his hands on her! As far as I am concerned, in the passage, his hands are actually righteous (and strong) hands that makes possible removing us from our struggle, pain, and wipe our tears. The Bible has invited us to take into account His/Her righteous (and strong) hands and to depend on it.
The Bible has stressed that salvation is in God’s hands. That is why we should take into consideration salvation from God’s hands. In biblical scholarship, the Greek word used for salvation, is the same word used for healing and recovering from sickness. That mean that in healing the sick woman Jesus gave her life through the extension of salvation. The most important thing of all is that Jesus paid attention to her condition, and proclaimed that there is hope – and it came from his righteous hands.
I would love to ask you which hands we should seek as Christians. How do we confess our beliefs if our lives depend on God’s hands? What does it mean to stand for God’s power in our daily lives? I hope that we will be considering God’s hands because our lives depend on Lord.
-Yosep Won, Presbyterian Church of Korea
We pray for those who are voiceless, speechless, and vulnerable to structured sins. We pray for for all existences that need God’s righteous hands in Climate Change, Crisis, and Collapse.