20th October 2019

Straighten Up!

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Psalm 103:1-5 (ESV)

You’ve probably heard someone say, “You better straighten up, young man/young lady!” Perhaps said to you a time or two! If so, it was probably aimed to correct some youthful ‘crooked’ behaviour. We say this to encourage the young person to walk straighter, look up, to walk a better path. Obviously, not said to someone suffering from a spine curvature disorder. Here, straightening up is beyond the person’s control. Most, however, who suffer would like nothing better than to stand straight and be without pain.

There’s a story in scripture of a woman who suffered from a spinal disorder. We are not told her age, but we are told that she had been crippled for eighteen years. When Jesus saw her, his heart was moved, and he called her over. Notice what he said: “’Woman, you are set freed from your disability.’ And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight and she glorified God” (Luke 13:12-13). Can you imagine the source of power she must have felt in her body? She knew it was miraculous—we know this by her response. Not only did she stand up straight, she immediately gave credit where credit was due—she began praising God. The crowd who saw the miracle also joined in the rejoicing. Most could identify with her gnarled and twisted condition—if not literally, certainly spiritually.

Some theologians in the Middle Ages trying to describe our bondage to sin, coined the term ‘cor curvum in se’ which means ‘curved in on ourselves.’ Worse than crooked behaviour, we are bent and distorted from the inside out. This nameless woman with an unspecified age can serve to invite us to hear our name being called to Jesus who sets us free. As we come to him and receive his healing touch, we too can straighten up to our full stature as sons and daughters who belong to Jesus’ Father. In this face-to-face relationship we naturally rejoice, praising him with words like those recorded in the psalm above. If you have grown weary of being curved in on yourself, come to Jesus. He knows how to set you straight.

Merciful Father, we are in our normal state all bent out of shape through sin. Thank you that in and through Christ we can be freed to serve you in truth and grace. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Presented by Heber Ticas

About the Presenter:
The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ ( https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Heber Ticas is an Elder in Grace Communion International and is the Superintend of the Churches in Latin America. He also serves as the National Coordinator for Church Multiplication in the United States.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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