2028.) Luke 13:1-17

After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, a girl cries.  Were the Haitians worse sinners?  Were they more guilty?  Is the Lord no longer merciful?  Questions like these were put to the Lord . . .

Luke 13:1-17 (NIV)

Repent or Perish

1Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

luke13-destruction

Jesus’ warning that they must repent or perish had an immediate, chilling fulfillment. Within a generation, those citizens of Jerusalem who had not repented and turned to Jesus perished in the destruction of Jerusalem.

–David Guzik

6Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

8” ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ ”

Zechariah 3:10 (NLT)

“And on that day, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, each of you will invite your neighbor to sit with you peacefully under your own grapevine and fig tree.”

_________________________

Music:

I should listen to this song every morning — it would encourage me to the good life of God and put a smile on my face!  HERE  Ken Medema sings “Tree Song.”

_________________________

A Crippled Woman Healed on the Sabbath

10On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

Psalm 6:4   (NRSV)

Turn, O Lord, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.

14Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”

15The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”

17When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

Banish the bent-over spirits:

memory of red guilt or
a long-ago foolish choice:
wrong marriage or
bitter divorce;
small crimes or
little legal brutalities;
a legion of torment
of additions.
Sexual abuse, manipulation,
domestic violence;
losses of mind, sight,
hearing, mobility,
self-doubt or
its grand mirror—
grandiosity.

Banish the bent-over spirits:

and good things, too:
obsessions now that
began healthy and
twisted a whole life;
professional demands,
creative dreams;
caring for an
ailing, aging parent,
proud-pushing an achieving child;
beautiful homes
shopped to sparkling,
beautiful bodies
jogged-starved to thin;
even church-work
where faith eats
its children.

Banish the bent-over spirits.

My shoulders sink,
and my spine curls
under the weight, while
my eyes turn in until
I cannot recognize
the one who heals.
See me here,
and call me, Christ.
Lay your hands on
the human meaning
beneath distortion.
In spite of a world
that disciplines healing,
in spite of people
who do not want
others well,
say the words
that set me free—

that I may straighten into praise.

from An Improbable Gift of Blessing: Prayers to Nurture the Spirit
by Maren C. Tirabassi and Joan Jordan Grant

_________________________

Jeremiah 10:6 (ESV)

There is none like you, O LORD;
you are great, and your name is great in might.

 _________________________

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Haiti girl crying.   http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01558/HAITI-GIRL_1558332c.jpg
Roman soldiers destroying Jerusalem.   https://nightwatchsite.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/roman-empire4-maxresdefault.jpg
fig tree.    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ab/Fig_tree.jpg
bent-over woman.    http://medfordchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/13-bent-over-woman.jpg
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