As part of my own daily devotions I am posting my own paraphrases of the the Daily Lectionary here on my blog (along with a short reflection on one or more of the readings). God willing, this will not be a short term thing.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.
And be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us
as an offering and sacrifice to God, a fragrant aroma.
But sexual immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you,
as is fitting among saints,
neither obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place,
but instead let there be thanksgiving.
Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person
(that is, an idolater),
has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God.
Let no one deceive you with empty words,
for because of these things
the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience.
So do not be associated with them.
For you at one time were darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of scoffers,
but delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
In all that he does, he prospers.
Not so the wicked,
they are like chaff which the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the time of judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the LORD knows the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
Now Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath,
and a woman was there who had a spirit of disease for eighteen years.
She was completely bent over and was never able to stand up straight.
When Jesus saw her, he summoned her and said,
“Woman, you are set free from your disease.”
Then he laid hands on her, and at once she stood up straight and praised God.
But the leader of the synagogue began to speak with indignation
because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath.
He said to the crowd,
“There are six days on which it is proper to do work.
Come on those days and be healed, but not on the Sabbath day.”
Then the Lord answered him and said,
Does not each of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his donkey from the stall
and lead it away to give it water?
Then shouldn’t this woman,
a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years,
be set loose from this bondage on the Sabbath day?”
When he said this, all his adversaries were put to shame;
and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.
Reflection for Today from Luke and Ephesians
How easy it is for us to focus on what is non-essential, to get caught up in majoring in the minors. The religious leader in the gospel lesson is so upset about a broken “rule” that he fails to recognize what is really important: a woman who has been sick for 18 years has been healed. We are often in danger of doing the same. Perhaps the opening words of our reading from Ephesians can serve as a corrective for us: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. And be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love.”
Quote for Today
“Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.” — Eric Fromm