Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Form Over Substance

The Daily Prayer of the Church continues today with Luke’s Gospel. We hear about Jesus curing on the Sabbath a woman who was ill for a considerable time and what one of the leaders of the synagogue had to say about that:

Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, ‘Woman, you are set free from your ailment.’ When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, ‘There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.’ But the Lord answered him and said, ‘You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?’ When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing. (Lk. 10:13-17).

Jesus performed a number of curing miracles on the Sabbath and each time he does it, he runs into problems with the Pharisees and the Sadducees who point out that the law, the rule, was not to do any work on the Sabbath because it was a day dedicated to God.  Jesus’ response in today’s passage is this: What a better way to celebrate the Lord’s Day than to free one of God’s children from the bondage that she has experienced for 18 long years and now this daughter of God can finally rest on the Sabbath?

What is your attitude toward the Sabbath?  At times, many of us place the rule of law ahead of the purpose behind the rule of law.  Sometimes we get caught up in form over substance.  Jesus asks us to place substance over form.

Let us pray:  Jesus, you spoke with passion, you acted without fear, and we remember. Help us when we have to speak out, to speak the truth and without malice to speak.  Amen.


St. Augustine’s Community Garden is on the Garden Tour on the Island this weekend.

This Sunday is Trinity Sunday.

EFM begins in the fall.  Please contact Tammie Taylor to sign-up.

Please remember everyone on our Prayer List especially all of the victims of the recent tornadoes in North Texas and in Oklahoma.  We also remember the family of Mary Pearson, especially Bishop Doyle and his wife, Joann, and their children as they mourn the death of Joann’s mother.

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

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