There’s no softening it or explaining it away, discipleship, carrying our cross, will ask of us, a lot of us, and as earthen vessels filled with the breath of God it will bend us, crack us, spoil us, but God our potter is ever creating us anew until we fully live into the kinship we share as members of the family of God. It’s a kinship that extends beyond our homes to the farthest corners of our cosmos. Relationally reshaped, reformed, resurrected we are made one in Christ.
The healing of the woman in our gospel story today is certainly good, but Jesus does not heal this woman in order to restore her posture and realign her with a broken world that bent her in half in the first place, but rather, Jesus heals this woman to reveal the ways in which the inflexible, oppressive rules of this world must be bent so that all people can be set free. The healing and freedom that Jesus offers the crippled woman, even though he must bend the rules to do so, is an invitation for the rest of us as well to assume a flexible, open, graceful, Christ-like posture towards creation, our fellow siblings, and towards ourselves, all of which are being bent over by the demonic forces of this world.
Today you may be here filled with fear and doubt and that is ok. Jesus is not waiting for us to get our house in order and open the door. Jesus is breaking the houses we lock ourselves up in offers to us peace and breathes on us the liberating Holy Spirit that frees us. And if that image is too abstract for you and you need something more real to touch and to taste, come to the table, and like Thomas, experience Jesus’ real presence with you. Through that real experience of resurrection, the Spirit is at work, giving us ordinary, fearful, doubting people extraordinary boldness to declare, “My Lord and my God.”