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.
– Luke 6:6-11 CEB
Being human, we seem to have this need for structure and patterns. It helps us make sense of things. Patterns of thinking help our brain take short cuts – like adding 2+2. We don’t have to count it out, the patterns we learn in elementary math let us short-cut to the answer.
But what happens when life doesn’t fit into a pattern we have come to expect? What then? What happens when God doesn’t fit our patterns or expectations?
In the text above, some folks have a hard time when Jesus does good work by healing a man. They simply can’t accept when Jesus heals him on the Sabbath. Jesus doesn’t fit the expected pattern.
Patterns are good, but much of life can’t be put into a neat little box, and neither can God’s love and mercy.
Where are you trying to limit God at work in the world and in your life because it wouldn’t fit your pattern or understanding?
Prayer: Lord, your love and mercy show up in many and unexpected ways. Open my eyes and my heart to your presence today. Amen.