Challenging the Status Quo

Our focus scripture text for this coming Sunday is Luke 13:10-17. It tells the story of Jesus healing a ‘bent-over woman’ on the Sabbath. Essentially, he is breaking the rules. I love that about Jesus; always challenging the status quo. I was never allowed to do that as a child so I guess I’m making up for lost time when I challenge myself, and even you all, to question everything.

On Wednesday night for our final Summer Worship with Dr. Seuss, we’ll be exploring how capitalism benefits from racism in “The Sneetches.” Yes… this wisdom is from a children’s book! Mr. McBean, the entrepreneur who has devised a clever machine to make money from the Sneetches, explains “Things are not as bad as you think. So you don’t know who’s who…” By keeping the Sneetches divided by some random identifying mark, there is always some group who believes they are ‘less than.’

Jesus challenges the status quo when he heals a woman in the temple on the Sabbath; this breaks the rules of Jewish custom. Jesus believes people are more important than rules. When there are ‘rules’ that exclude, demean, hold back, marginalize, or demonize a group of people, God is calling us to be rule-breakers, too.

When has “breaking a rule” set you free or broken bonds that held you back from full personhood? When has “breaking a rule” set another free or broken bonds that held them back from full personhood? (You might think of people such as Rosa Parks whose one small act of breaking a rule sparked a civil rights movement.)

One of the values we hold at Union is inclusion – no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here. I invite you to be mindful of the rules you follow and then ask ‘why?’ Is it for your safety and that of others? Is it for some and not all?

Dear God, open my eyes to pay attention to those who are weighed down, bent over, unnoticed, overlooked, and ignored. Let me recognize when I trample or disregard the gifts that people offer. Give me the courage to speak up and question and not succumb to silence, or appeal to rules that bind. Amen.

Shalom,
Pr. Barb

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