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You Raise Me Up!

Most of us would not have heard about Rolf Lovland or Brendan Graham. It’s even more unlikely that we know that the song they composed together was sung for the first time at Rolf Lovland’s mothers funeral as a tribute to her.

But when producer David Foster decided to record the number with a young upcoming singer Josh Groban, little would he know that that song would be #1 on billboard charts across the globe.

That song was You Raise Me Up!

Scripture narrative: St. Luke 13: 10-17

Image source: Pemptousia

In the story of the woman who was healed on the Sabbath, we read that she was one who ‘could in no way raise herself up!’ (vs 11). This woman had been bent over for 10 plus 8 years (there is a reason I didn’t write 18 years as you will see later). But Jesus, disregarding the traditionalist views, loosens her from her infirmity to the joy of the crowd watching.

Here are some things I can learn from this passage.

1. It is to those who cannot lift themselves up that Jesus came.

    When children are guilty of having done something wrong, they find it very difficult to look at your face. (Of course as they grow up, they learn the skills from us adults of course, and become experts at masking their emotions!)

    The Orthodox Fathers saw this woman as a representative of all of us – of humanity itself. We are ‘guilty’ of having broken all the 10 commandments. And condemned by the law, we (symbolically) are bent over by the heavy burden of guilt.

    But when we were unable to do anything to relieve ourselves of this guilt of sin, God showed His love towards us in and through Christ, by dying for us (Rom 5:8).

    Lesson learned: And by His death, burial and resurrection, He raised us up! Humanity (and we along with it) have been raised up by our faith in Christ. Amen!

2. Jesus didn’t come to condemn, but to show grace.

    She had been in bondage for 18 years i.e., 10 plus 8 years. While the number 10 showed the Law (Ten Commandments), 8 showed Grace. The number 8 has significance Biblically and has always seen as a symbol of grace by the Fathers – a number which signifies a fresh start and resurrected life.

    In other words, while the law condemned, grace in and through Christ Jesus raised this woman (and all of us) up!

    Lesson learned: When I realize that without Christ, I stand no chance before God, I will tend to be more graceful and less judgmental. He that is forgiven much loves (God and others) much.

3. Loosed for a purpose.

    St. Paul says, ‘But I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.’

    I am not let loose from by bondage to sin, for no reason. It is to live for Christ and His church. It is to show forth His wisdom in and through my life; by my word and my actions.

    Although the author may not have had Jesus in mind while writing it, it does perfectly fit with what Jesus did for all of us!

    When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary When troubles come and my heart burdened be Then, I am still and wait here in the silence Until You come and sit awhile with me. You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas I am strong, when I am on your shoulders You raise me up to more than I can be YOU RAISE ME UP!

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