I get really unhappy if anyone disturbs me on a Monday, especially if they call round and expect to be invited in and given coffee. The other women in the close in which I live, started a monthly book club and chose to have it on a Monday!! People have tried to arrange PCC meetings on Mondays or suggested that I might like to go out to lunch with them.
No, I wouldn’t because Monday is my cleaning day, I like to get on with it without interruption, have enough time to get round the house and then relax in my lovely clean home after a refreshing shower so everything, including me, is shiny and clean. What’s more, Monday was my Mum’s cleaning day and I have just continued the tradition.
But of course, I shouldn’t be so rigid. That was the problem with the people in the synagogue in our bible reading from Luke. They had made the keeping of the Law into a complicated set of rules and spent so much time and energy focussing on these, that they had forgotten the spirit of the Law which of course was to love God and love one another. So they objected when Jesus healed that poor woman and gave her a wonderful new freedom which made her praise God.
Luke uses the story of the poor crippled woman as an illustration of the point. We can imagine, can’t we, what it must be like to be so crippled with something like arthritis , that we can’t raise our heads or straighten our backs, we can only look in one direction towards the floor. Our vision would be limited.
And so was the vision of that synagogue congregation. God gave us Jesus to offer us release and a fresh start, to challenge assumptions and prejudices – to straighten the spiritual backs of the narrowly visioned if you like.
So we can choose to take up God’s offer of release and a fresh start and not miss out on that wonderful opportunity of our whole lives and outlook being transformed, OR just stay living and behaving in our set ways. As the crippled woman found, its worth looking up from what we are doing and see the wonderful life we can have by loving God and one another. Try it!
And I need to learn to clean on a Tuesday, Wednesday, any day but Monday, or not worry about it at all!