This week in the Gospel of Luke, the woman Jesus heals is a beautiful example to us of why we gather each week for worship.
“He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself (Luke 13:10–11).”
This woman suffered from chronic pain and a disability that surely made each and every day difficult for eighteen years. And where do we find her? Gathered for weekly worship at the synagogue. Nothing in the text indicates that she had come because she had heard Jesus would be there or that she had come in hopes of healing. She is there to worship. She is there to hear the scriptures read and taught and to pray. She is there to continue fixing her eyes on God, as it seems had been her custom through all those years, even though getting there must have been difficult.
I was reminded of this encouragement from Paul.
“We do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:16–18).”
This is why we gather each week. To help one another look to what is unseen and eternal so that our inner selves can be renewed day by day, even as we feel the groaning our outer selves can experience. To “be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:1).” Which of us doesn’t need that?
This Sunday Rob Price will be preaching Luke 13:10-21 and Kenny Clark will be leading our sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare? And let’s ask the Lord to make us like those at the end of our passage this week who “rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by Jesus.”
See you Sunday, Grace. Let’s come hungry!
SONG LINK OF THE WEEK
Come, People of the Risen King by Keith and Kristyn Getty
Come, those whose joy is morning sun
And those weeping through the night.
Come, those who tell of battles won,
And those struggling in the fight.
For His perfect love will never change,
And His mercies never cease,
But follow us through all our days
With the certain hope of peace.