Daily Devotion Thursday, July 18

Thursday, July 18, 2013 – Psalm 6; 1 Samuel 20:24-42; Acts 13:1-12 and Mark 2:23-3:6

Mark 2:23-3:6 – 2:23One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” 25And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? 26He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.” 27Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; 28so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

1Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” 4Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

Last time I was at Ghost Ranch, a group was meeting around the theme of “Sabbath Keeping”. There were only four pastors and the instructor in the group. K.O. Noonoo who had gone out with me and I were able to do a lot of fellowshipping with them. It was great to get to know them and hear bits and pieces of what they were learning.

The central idea was, all of us need a day when we simply stop and get some much needed rest. This is what God called his people to do when he said; For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:11)

I strive to take Friday off from regular work, so that I can rest and do things I can’t do on a normal (whatever that is) work day. Doesn’t always work out, but that is what I strive to do. On Friday’s I might do some things around the house that need to get done, but also strive to simply get in some much needed rest. Phyllis and I strive to make this a day for also doing things together as a couple.

It seems in Jesus’ day that the Pharisees had gotten really legalistic as to what could or could not be done on the Sabbath. That isn’t what God intended. Jesus said it well; The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.” Jesus could heal people on the Sabbath and his disciples could pluck some grain for the evening meal.

What does it mean to you to honor the Sabbath? Today, many of us see going to worship as a part of our Sabbath ritual. What else do you do on the Sabbath to refresh yourself and your relationship with others and God?

O God, thanks be to you for calling us to honor the Sabbath but not make it legalistic. Thanks be to you for showing us how we can continue to do your work on the Sabbath and keep it holy. Forgive us when even on our Sabbath day we get so busy doing, that we don’t pause and thank you for the gift of rest. May we look unto our Lord to find a proper rhythm for our life and for the Sabbath. Amen.

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