Posts Tagged ‘dignity’

The heart of the Sabbath

February 17, 2016

Are we really ready to trust in God and rest in His provision for us. (John 5: 1-30, also Mark 2)


How God longs for us to come to Him, to be healed from our sin and to rest in His provision for us. In this encounter with the invalid man, Jesus probes not only the heart of that man but also the hearts of the Pharisees and through this passage preserved for us to read – our hearts as well.

To the invalid man, he asks what could seem to be an unnecessary question, “Do you want to be healed?” We are apt to think, of course the man wants to be healed, isn’t that why he is there at the pool? But after all these years of waiting, is it still in his heart to desire healing, or after all this time, has he resigned his heart to never being healed or perhaps he has gotten to the point where he is used to being taken care of and may not want a real change in his life, would he rather be in a place where he would complain about his situation or would he rather be able to take responsibility for his life?

And there is also the question for us: are we ready for God to change us? If God were to heal us of a sickness in our body or our spirit: What vulnerabilities would we feel if the sickness or bitterness or whatever is troubling us is taken away? What changes would have to happen in our lives or what changes would have to happen in our attitudes if we no longer could hide behind our disability? What self-righteousness would we have to let go of to let other people see a change in me? Are we ready to trust Jesus to change us?

It seems that Jesus was also thinking of the Pharisees reactions when He instructed the invalid man to not just “get up and walk”, but to “get up, pick up his pallet and walk”. He knew that when the man would be seen carrying his pallet that the Pharisees would notice and would verbally protest about “working on Sabbath” but in their hearts they would also protest Jesus’ authority which would be validated by the healing. Taking the offense, Jesus further challenged them by not only clarifying His relationship with the Father but by also outrightly accusing them of not believing in Him.

That leaves questions for us: Are we putting our trust more in Scriptures than in the one who gave us the Scriptures? Are we seeking more to know about God or to know God Himself? Are we ready to trust Him, rest in Him and  accept His authority over us?

A harsh reminder of Dignity and Justice for all

December 29, 2008

One of the first responses to the Old Testament law as given in Deuteronomy is that it does not seem very forgiving. It seems to lay out very plain consequences for any of the injustices mentioned: small injustices have less severe consequences, large injustices have very severe consequences. Unlike our current laws in the US there is no room for “mitigating circumstances.” Injustice will not be tolerated.

A scan of the laws in Deuteronomy will also show a high value given for dignity, even law breakers have dignity. This particularly struck me in the case where if there is a fight between two men, if the wife of one of the men tires to help out her husband, but in the process grabs the other’s “private part” then her hand should be cut off. This kind of value of dignity is further seen in Davids refusal to lay a hand on King Saul and in the archangel Michael’s refusal to “slander” Satan. But as I consider this high value of dignity, I think of the lack of it on display in our culture.

In our current culture, many give a high value to such things as sacriligious humor, lack of respect for others and self-centeredness. Our popular music and television programs are filled with irreverance and sexual immorality: attitudes that reflect a lack of respect for others.

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