Saturday, February 27, 2010

Genesis 41:1-13
Psalms 55, 138, 139
1 Corinthians 4:1-7
Mark 2:23-3:6

I am not very good at keeping the Sabbath day holy. The Pharisees thought that Jesus wasn’t very good at it either, and they took it quite seriously. They took it so seriously that the plot to kill Jesus seemed to start with Jesus breaking Sabbath law.

Frankly, I’m a bit jealous of those who do keep the Sabbath -- conservative Jewish folk or maybe the extreme Hassidic Jews who keep to the letter of the Jewish law. Imagine having a day without work – of any kind. No turning on a light, no cooking dinner, no laundry, no checking of email, no TV, no homework. It’s hard to imagine such a day…a day to simply rest. Actually, I wonder if I would go a little stir crazy, since I’m so used to every minute of every day being dedicated to something or someone.

There is something to be said for rest, for a day of rest. I think God gave us that commandment because He knew how crazy life could get for us and how hard we would work. Through that commandment, God gave us a gift – a gift we so often turn away. I think if we all really did learn how to give up work and responsibilities and how to slow down one day a week just to spend time with family, read a book, play a board game, or take a nap, we as a society would be so much better for it. We’d be happier people with less stress – and, my guess is, less disease. We’d just be better.

I think Jesus was showing us that the letter of the law isn’t as important as helping people and generally doing what is right. But, at the same time, the law was given for our benefit. Keeping the Sabbath day holy is something I hope to make time for this Lenten season, and I hope to develop that practice into a habit that will last.

--MAM

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