Fascination with wickedness obscures what is good, and roving desire perverts the innocent mind.
Wisdom of Solomon 4:12

Monday, July 2, 2012

Stretch Out Your Hand

The Epistle reading for Monday July 2, 2012

Rom12:  4For as we have many members inone body, but all the members do not have the same function,5 so we, being many,are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another…15 Rejoicewith those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.16 Be of the samemind toward one another. Do not set your mind on highthings, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.17 Repay no one evilfor evil. Have regardfor good things in the sight of all men.18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.19 Beloved, do not avengeyourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, t “Vengeance is Mine,I will repay,” says the Lord.20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If heis thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire onhis head.”21 Do notbe overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

The Gospel Reading for Monday July 2, 2012

Mat 12: 9 Now when He haddeparted from there, He went into their synagogue.10 And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. Andthey asked Him, saying, “Is itlawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—that they might accuse Him.11 Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep,and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift itout? 12 Of how much more value then is a man than asheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”13 Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it wasrestored as whole as the other.

Listen to a reading and commentary at http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/podup/thepath/13238


If we look to the scriptures searching not only for data, but for the renewal of our life, then we should read looking for the commands of Christ that make us new. In other words, one could conclude from this gospel reading that the Lord is teaching all who will listen when it is acceptable to do good, and that would be true.  He is telling the world that it is always a good time to do good to others.

However, there is more here. There is in this reading a command. The Lord is also telling each of us who is wounded by corruption and mortality not to hesitate at any time or for any reason tocome to the Him for (soteria)healing, rescue, and salvation from this evil age and all that occurs in it. One is a theological truth (a doctrinal abstraction), and the other is a command for us to do something in order to be saved.  The abstraction is incomplete if we fail to also take on the command to come to Him and be healed.

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