Prayer of Adoration and Confession: from Psalm 66
With all the earth, we give glory to the Lord. You are indescribable and uncontainable, and your deeds are awesome. You are our Deliverer: the One who turned the sea into dry land as you deliver us from evil. You are our Keeper: the One who watches over us. You are our Helper: the One who does not let our feet slip. You are the One who listens to us in both our cries of pain and our shouts of praise.
You are also the One who calls us to confession. Lord, forgive us when we forget how you have helped us in our times of trouble. Forgive us when we forget to offer you thanks for your abundant love.
Forgive us when cherish injustice – accepting it when it is to our own advantage or ignoring it when it is not to our disadvantage. Forgive us when we choose to overlook the need of our brother or sister because they might require something of us.
Blessed be God, because You do not reject our prayers or remove your steadfast love from us. Lord, once again, be our Deliverer, our Keeper, our Helper, the One who Listens. Amen.
Words of Assurance: Romans 8:14-17 (NRSV)
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again;b rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Scripture Reading: Luke 6:6-11 (CEB)
On another Sabbath, Jesus entered a synagogue to teach. A man was there whose right hand was withered. The legal experts and the Pharisees were watching him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. They were looking for a reason to bring charges against him. Jesus knew their thoughts, so he said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” He got up and stood there. Jesus said to the legal experts and Pharisees, “Here’s a question for you: Is it legal on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” Looking around at them all, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he did and his hand was made healthy. They were furious and began talking with each other about what to do to Jesus.
Reflection and Discussion
A man with a withered hand probably could not provide for himself in the first century. The religious leaders’ were more concerned with what Jesus would do then they were for this man.
- Who in need do we overlook at church, at work, at school, in our community because we are more concerned about our own lives?
Jesus asks the question, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save life or to destroy it?” Jesus says it another way in John 10:10. Sometimes the choice doesn’t seem obvious – or as extreme as life or death. But think about your last week, where did this choice present itself?
- How did you choose how to act or what to say?
- If you think about it in the context of Luke 6:9 and John 10:10, would you have done anything differently?
Closing Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
Faithful and Loving God, you have once again nourished with your Word. As people saved by our hope in you, we give thanks for the love you have poured into us. May this love flow freely from us to others as we carry your certain and saving hope into the world. Amen.