Daily Worship

‘We have seen strange things today’

Jane Denniston April 22, 2024 6 2
Image credit: Unsplash
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Luke 5: 17-26 (NRSVA)

17 One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting nearby (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. 18 Just then some men came, carrying a paralysed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; 19 but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. 20 When he saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you.’ 21 Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, ‘Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ 22 When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, ‘Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven you”, or to say, “Stand up and walk”? 24 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to the one who was paralysed—‘I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home.’ 25 Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God. 26 Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’

When was the last time that you were stopped in your tracks by something which filled you with awe? I imagine that, around Jesus, such incidents happened fairly regularly. Of course, often the feelings aroused rather than awe (at least on the part of the authorities) were outrage and anger as Jesus defied convention and took liberties with the rules. As always, however, he has an answer for his critics and puts them firmly in their place. “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?” proving that it’s his power and not the form of words which give life and health.

I have a four year old granddaughter who lights up my life. I am privileged to spend part of every week with her and, even more than with my own children, I am struck by the sheer miracle of her. Her personality and character – so new to this world. Her learning and development — so rapid and engaging. Her joy in life – so simple, unaffected, delighted in very simple things. Her child’s view of the world – so unique, unspoiled, enlightening, and arresting. I am in awe.

Perhaps if we had eyes to see we would see miracles all around us, be stopped in our tracks on a daily basis, and end each day thinking, ‘we have seen strange things today’ as we look with the eyes of faith to see the wonder of life.




Lord, we praise you for your wild disregard

for the petty rules and regulations of humanity

and your life-giving, life-enhancing power.

We praise you for the daily miracles which surround us

to enrich our lives and bring us joy.

Give us eyes to see, ears to hear,

and hearts to understand the new things you do every day.

May we be inspired by the beauty of your rebelliousness

against all that constrains and hinders,

seeing with the clarity and acceptance of a child

that we may be stopped in our tracks

by the wonder of life with you, Amen