Scripture Reading for Saturday, March 15
Reading: Mark 2:23 - 28, Mark 3:1-6
Is it Legal
Sabbath for Christians has probably undergone more change over the centuries than many other aspects of Christian practice. I read to my son the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls-Wilder and within those she describes a solemn day in which they would listen to the Bible, they were required to sit still and quiet. Pa didn't play the fiddle except for some hymns on Sundays and only did the minimal work needed to care for their livestock.
As a child there were some rules for my Sundays as well. Sunday mornings meant no television for instance and I spent the afternoon doing things that were 'quiet'. Sundays meant I wore specific clothes, that I took a bath on Saturday nights (something Laura had to do too!), and we ate a sit-down meal after worshipping on Sunday morning.
These things I have mentioned here about how I or Laura's family observerd the Sabbath, are largely culturally driven. The Sabbath laws of the Pharisees, while rooted in the concept of God's commandments to honor the sabbath and to rest on the sabbath, were taken to extents within their cultural that weren't part of God's original command.
Within his actions of the taking of the wheat and the healing of the hand Jesus is signifying to the pharisees that their rules about the sabbath rather than enhancing God's command were inhibiting its practice. “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?"
Jesus challenged the authority that the pharisees had apportioned for themselves away from God, and for this they wished to kill him.
Questions for Reflection or Journaling
- What were/are some of the ways you observe the sabbath?
- What among those are cultural expectations vs. obedience to God?
- How can you 'do what is good' on the Sabbath?
Father we thank you today for that seventh day, the day of rest. We ask today or clarity as we seek to honor you and the gift you have given us in a sabbath day. We ask that you remind us of the example of your son, and that you would remind us of how to 'do good' on the sabbath so that we would honor you.