Scripture: Matt 12: 1-14
Key verses: (1-2) 1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 When the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.”
Reflection: This is one of six times that Jesus clashes with religious leaders over the Sabbath. In all of those encounters, Jesus does not dispute the significance of the Sabbath. He disputes appropriate Sabbath behavior but never the importance of Sabbath in our faith journey. Jesus saw Sabbath as a day to point to the nature of God: A Merciful God, the God who heals and the God that brings redemption.
What is Sabbath? It is a weekly day of rest and worship. A day to put aside the things that occupy us during our everyday and focus on activities that nurture peace, worship, relationships, celebration and gratitude. We clear away the distractions in our lives so we can rest in God.
Jesus didn’t want us to give up the practice of Sabbath. Jesus and the disciples continue to practice Sabbath even after all of these disputes. It is a necessary part of the faith journey. Claim Sabbath. It is so much more than doing nothing. It is a day to remember, recall and re-create. Remember God who calls you beloved and remember who you are as a child of God.
Prepare for the Sabbath this week. On whatever day works best for your life. Be intentional. Focus on activities that nourish you, your relationships and bring about a sense of profound peace and gratitude.
Prayer: Allow us to find our rest in you, God. Nourish our souls with laughter and love. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[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].