For almost 4 years I have regularly practiced yoga. To calm and clear my mind, to open my heart, and to care for my body- yoga has been a great gift. I have learned how to breathe deeply when overwhelmed by the heat. I have grown in compassion for myself when my mind won't clear or quiet, when my body won't seem to move that way I "want" it to and when I have fallen into the trap of comparing myself to others. I have been challenged and I have been changed. The four corners of my yoga mat have served as Sabbath and as sanctuary. I have been "stretched" and I have been healed.
This weekend starts a nine week series on the "fruits of the Spirit". One of the intentions is that each of the fruits of the Spirit is for you an opening to let in the healing of the Spirit. Not all healing is a cure and we will explore that over time. Healing connects us with the Breath of Life and invites us into a deeper trust in God's amazing grace. LOVE is the first fruit we will focus on this weekend of June 2 &3, 2018. We will hear from Jesus in Mark 2:23-3:6 of the Sabbath and heals a man with a withered hand.
Jesus looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored- Mark 3:5
Love and anger can take place at the same time. Jesus' love for humanity calls out the hypocrisy, the misuse of the gifts of God's law as an end in and of itself. Jesus loved freely. The healing of a man with a withered hand happens not because the man asked, not because he was somehow worthy or deserving. Jesus in the synagogue on the Sabbath calls the man with the withered hand to "come forward". Then to those who are watching he asks, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?”. They were silent. This angers Jesus. This grieves Jesus.
We will hear from Deuteronomy 5 of the LORD's intention for the people to keep Sabbath. "Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day".
Love invites us to rest. Love calls us to do good, to save life. Love stretches us and reaches out to us with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Join us Saturday June 2 at 5pm and Sunday June 3 at 8am and 10:30am to experience the LOVE and the stretching of the Spirit.