A few days ago I read the following about Jesus:
“He’ll set everything right …
What is bruised and bent, He will not break …
He’ll steadily and firmly set things right.
He won’t tire out and quit. He won’t be stopped until He’s finished His work
—to set things right on earth.”
All this talk of setting things right got me thinking about my friend who broke her wrist on last winter’s ice. In the emergency room the doctors had to set that broken bone. Set it right. I’ll spare you the gory details of how that happened. Let’s just say setting things right is rarely easy or free of pain. It’s not for the squeamish among us.
Jesus, not unlike the doctors, was a healer, a great physician.
His job? “To set things right on earth,” broken things, bent this way and that.
The disciple Luke (13:10-17) tells of a woman “bent double,” unable to straighten for 18 long years. After Jesus healed the broken in her body, He went on to address the existing system that kept her bent low to the ground.
His final question to the keepers of that system is ringing in my ears:
“Can’t we untie her from her oppression?”
Arthritis may have bent this woman low, but broken systems kept her there.
Can’t we untie her from her oppression?
Can’t we set her free from that which she’s bent under?
Can’t we set it right once more?
And if not, for Pete’s sake, why?!?
It’s clearly not work for wimps, this setting things right. Ask the doctors among us. Or the healers of any kind. But can’t we do it?
Jesus wants to know.
Can’t we untie people from oppression?
Can’t we take the burdens off their backs?
Can’t we set them free from bondage?
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
… do away with the yoke of oppression.”
(Isaiah 58: 6-9)
Set. Things. Right.
Faithfully. Firmly. Jesus brought about justice, arranging things the way they were meant to be. In individuals and in systems, Jesus addressed the things that kept people bent, burdened and broken. He went about setting them right so life could flow.
And He asks us to do the same.
And the bent are begging, literally crying in the streets.
Can’t we untie them from their oppression?
Set Things Right: Our Little Life Words of the week.
- What would you ask Jesus to “set right” in your own life?
- Set aside time this week to learn about systemic oppression that keeps people bent.
- Turn things topsy turvy in your house and then go about setting them right. As you ‘right’ each item take time to pray for a person or group bent under a burden.
- Our song of the week is: Your Peace Will Make Us One by Audrey Assad
- Sit with God and name the brokenness in your life and in the world around you one by one. End each naming with “Lord have mercy, set it right.”
- Ask God to show you any ways in which you contribute to the bending, breaking or burdening of others. Seek His forgiveness and ask Him how you can set it right.
Friend, we may not be able to set whole systems right in one fell swoop, but I believe every action adds to the cumulative effect. So today (and each day after) let’s seek to set one thing right between us and God / us and another / us and our very own selves.
May healing come as we set things right.