Saturday, 6 September 2008

My Thoughts on Today's Bible Readings

Were Jesus' disciples breaking the Third Commandment (Thou shall keep holy the Sabbath day) in today's gospel reading?
The "Sabbath rest" was meant to be a time to remember and celebrate God's goodness and the goodness of his work, both in creation and redemption. It was a day set apart for the praise of God, his work of creation, and his saving actions on our behalf. It was intended to bring everyday work to a halt and to provide needed rest and refreshment. It is NOT a time when people cannot gather food to feed themselves. So why did the Pharisees interpret it this way?
Because they didn't interpret it with love. They see gathering of food as work. And God had banned work on Sabbath day. Therefore they concluded that there must be no gathering of food on Sabbath day. They didn't see the possible repercussions of that interpretation on others. They didn't see that they would be effectively calling it a sin for people to gather food to feed themselves on one particular day. They didn't see the ridiculousness of this idea, nor that their God who loved all and wanted all to be happy would place charity above obedience. After all, did He not say "What I want is mercy, not sacrifices?" So let us ask the Lord to help us interpret and live out His commandments His way. Let us be as zealous in our interpretation as He wants us to be, and as merciful in living out the commandments as He wants us to be.


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