‘Observe the Sabbath and keep it holy. You have six days in which to do your work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to me. On that day no one is to work… In six days I, the Lord, made the earth, the sky, the seas, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That is why I, the Lord, blessed the Sabbath and made it holy.’
Exodus 20:8-11 (GNT)
The trouble with Sundays is that they follow Saturdays. Yes, I know that’s stating the bleeding obvious, but for me, with my health, it poses a problem. Saturdays are busy busy busy as I enthusiastically combine being a taxi driver, a grandma-wrangler and a child juggler. I say enthusiastically because although Saturdays do take their toll, I love making my family smile. I’m a mother; it’s my job. The only thing is that come Sunday I need to rest. But then I, and other family members, fret about not getting to church
A few weeks back I made the half hour drive to and from church, but afterwards I needed to rest. This then put more of a burden onto Frank… and then I felt guilty. It occurred to me, after talking to God about it, that it’s all a bit silly. After some discussion we have decided to make Sundays into both a day of rest and a day to learn about God, leaving out the worry and guilt over not getting to church.
I am reminded of Jesus’ words to the Pharisees: ‘One Sabbath, Jesus was strolling with his disciples through a field of ripe grain. Hungry, the disciples were pulling off the heads of grain and munching on them. Some Pharisees reported them to Jesus: “Your disciples are breaking the Sabbath rules!”
Jesus said, “Really? Didn’t you ever read what David and his companions did when they were hungry, how they entered the sanctuary and ate fresh bread off the altar, bread that no one but priests were allowed to eat? And didn’t you ever read in God’s Law that priests carrying out their Temple duties break Sabbath rules all the time and it’s not held against them?
“There is far more at stake here than religion. If you had any idea what this Scripture meant—‘I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual’—you wouldn’t be nitpicking like this. The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath; he’s in charge.”
When Jesus left the field, he entered their meeting place. There was a man there with a crippled hand. They said to Jesus, “Is it legal to heal on the Sabbath?” They were baiting him.
He replied, “Is there a person here who, finding one of your lambs fallen into a ravine, wouldn’t, even though it was a Sabbath, pull it out? Surely kindness to people is as legal as kindness to animals!” Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” He held it out and it was healed. The Pharisees walked out furious, sputtering about how they were going to ruin Jesus.’
Matthew 12:1-14 (The Message)
‘The Sabbath was made for the good of human beings; they were not made for the Sabbath.’
Mark 2:27 (GNT)