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.”Mark 2:23-28
What do you need for sabbath rest? God knows that we need rest, and a sabbath day is not just a day off to do errands, laundry, food shopping and the lawn work. A sabbath rest is a day to spend with God, family and friends.
But Jesus makes it known that the sabbath serves us, not the opposite. We should not put excessive rules on the sabbath, rather we should allow sabbath to be the gift it is. Do you need to do a couple of things before your rest? Do them then rest. Do you need to eat? Of course, cook, eat and then rest. The important thing is to find that rest on a regular basis.
God knows that we need rest and that is why God created the sabbath. We need to take advantage of this gift, finish our work and rest.
8Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:8-10
Our society has become increasingly hostile. It seems everything is based on “us vs. them” with no discussion in between. There seems to be no attempt at understanding the other person’s point of view because it must be wrong. This is not just a political thing, rather it goes across all of society, including the faith.
Yet here is Paul, a man known to argue his point without mixing words, writing to the church about the basic commandment, love. We are to love one another with servant love (from the Greek, Agape), the love that carried Jesus to the cross.
Could you imagine our nation if our politicians loved this way? Could you imagine our business culture if executives loved this way? Could you imagine our neighborhoods if everyone loved this way?
As you begin a new week, try to find a way to express servant love to someone – especially if they disagree with you on some topic.
Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27
Have you ever known somebody needed prayer, but did not know why? Just pray for them; Did someone’s name come up in your mind for no reason? Just pray for them. Even if you do not know what is going on or why, there is a reason for you to pray.
One day I received a text from my wife saying “pray for me and the family I am about to visit”. Not knowing anymore, I took the time to pray – and somehow the Holy Spirit took over. I do not know what I said or thought, only that God invites us into God’s work. Later on, I found out the seriousness of the situation and the prayers were much needed.
Prayer is very important and the more we pray, the more we do. If you do not know what words to say, if you do not know what to pray about, just remain in God’s presence and let the Spirit guide you.