All Bent Out of Shape

Theme: People and objects sometimes get "bent out of shape" - Proper 16 (21) Yr. C
Object: A spoon that is "bent out of shape"
Scripture: On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath." Luke 13:10-14

Look at this spoon! It is all bent out of shape. I just hate it when that happens. If I tried to scoop some ice cream with this spoon, it would be hopeless. The spoon would just get even more bent out of shape and wouldn't scoop up a bit of ice cream. If I tried to eat soup with this spoon, the soup would surely run down the front of my shirt. A spoon that is bent out of shape isn't much good for anything.

People sometimes get bent out of shape too. Old age, disease, or an injury may cause a person's body to get bent out of shape. Perhaps you know someone who can't straighten their back when they stand or walk. Their bodies are bent out of shape -- like this spoon.

Sometimes, a person gets angry about something. Many times it is something unimportant. When that happens, we call it getting bent out of shape. Have you ever heard someone say to a person who was angry, "Don't get all bent out of shape?"

Our Bible lesson this morning is about two people who were all bent out of shape. The first person in our lesson had a body that was bent out of shape. One Sabbath day, Jesus was teaching in the Synagogue. As he was teaching, he saw a woman there who had been crippled for eighteen years. The Bible tells us that she was all bent over and was unable to stand up straight.

What do you think Jesus did when he saw this woman? You guessed it! He healed her. When Jesus saw the woman, he said, "Woman, you are set free from your sickness!" Then he touched her, and instantly she could stand up straight. She began to praise and thank God for her healing.

Well, that is when the second person in our Bible lesson got all bent out of shape. The Bible tells us that the leader of the synagogue became very angry because Jesus had healed the woman on the Sabbath. "There are six days for work, so come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath" he said.

Jesus answered the leader of the synagogue, "You hypocrite! Don't you untie your donkey on the Sabbath and lead them to get a drink? Even so, it was necessary for me to heal this woman who had been suffering for over eighteen years."

You see, Jesus was always more concerned with helping people than he was about keeping rules. Rules are good, but people are more important. We should remember that the next time we start to get all bent out of shape when someone bends the rules a little bit to help someone who is in need.

Dear Jesus, help us to remember that you taught us that helping people is more important than keeping rules. Amen.

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