Friday, February 29, 2008

Jesus and the Sabbath

I have been reading today about Jesus and the Sabbath. The gospels record 6 unique stories of Jesus healing on a Sabbath and one about Jesus and his disciples plucking corn on a Sabbath - all result in conflict with the religious authorities. Two things occur to me:

Firstly, I am rebuked again for my own temptation to want to reserve Sundays for the kind of worship that I desire and not for the kind that God desires. According to Jesus, healing and feeding both have an important place on the Sabbath. When people in need disrupt my own plans for songs, prayer or even sermons, perhaps God is trying to get my attention. It's a lesson that I am finding myself very slow to learn.

Secondly, I don't think that the compassionate heart of Jesus displayed in these stories is only reserved for the Sabbath - in fact all the gospels witness otherwise. Healing the sick, feeding the hungry, befriending the marginalised and sharing with the poor are not activities that are peripheral to Jesus ministry but central to his proclamation of the Kingdom of God.

For me, these have been helpful reminders.

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