Scripture: Luke 23:44-56
Key verse: (56) On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
Reflection: I don’t remember being one of those kids you had to force to take a nap. Memory is selective I appreciate, but looking back at childhood, despite my energy level, a nap was always a good move. Working in the city we had a long drive to and from our home every day, the car became my dedicated nap space. Even today if we are driving and I am in the passenger seat, it’s slumber time.
I am thinking that the Sabbath rest in today’s passage was a forced rest. In the aftermath of Jesus’ arrest, torture and execution, the idea of slowing down, catching your breath, doing nothing was as impossible as the thought that their friend and Lord was gone. There would have been so much to do in the terrible busyness that erupts after a death, there always is. And we are grateful for it often — busy hands distract a heavy heart.
But the commandment said rest. No planning. No fussing. No fretting. No retracing of your steps to see where you might have derailed, where you might magically reverse the past to change the awful present; no texting, no watching television, no distracting or dulling mind and spirit.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies say the psalmist. It’s a reminder that God is God and we are not. When helpless and hurting, when we cannot help or change or make better it is good to remember that we are and were only ever, reliant upon God. To do nothing isn’t to be passive, depressed or neglectful. To rest on the Sabbath is to remember that God is at work and we follow, trust and respond.
Prayer: For all that you do with us Lord,
For all that do with us,
For all that you do without us,
We rejoice and give you praise. Amen.
Author: Derek Macleod
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].