Monday Morning Meditation 3-27-23

Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Mark 3:1-5

Sometimes the rules get in the way of doing good.  Upon a strict interpretation, the Sabbath law prohibited Jesus from healing that man.  Yet Jesus asks the question “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” Jesus heals the man, in the synagogue on the Sabbath, for that is the greater good. 

When we enter the sanctuary on Sunday morning, we should come expecting to meet Jesus and be healed.  Maybe it is not the healing of a physical issue, perhaps it is a healing of our soul, but one way or another we should find healing in worship. It is there, we only need, like the man with the withered hand, to show up.

As you journey through this week, I pray you meet Jesus and find healing, and I invite you to attend worship, for He can be found there.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation (Tuesday Edition) 3-21-22

One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”  He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”  Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”  Mark 2:23-28

Sabbath rest is important.  It is so important that God made a rule about it (see the fourth commandment).  Yet God did not do this to be cruel and harsh (follow the rules and regulations or you perish), rather God understands that we humans need to stop.  We need to take a break.  We need rest. 

Over the past week I was on Study Leave.  I spent time in prayer and meditation, I wrote, I planned and I rested.  I did not set an alarm, got up when my body said “wake”, spent the mornings in study and work, spent the afternoons in nature and the evenings reading.  It was a wonderful rhythm and one sorely needed.

As I got back to the grind on Monday, I began my normal routine (except for the Monday Morning Meditation!), and realized something important.  I need to follow Sabbath.

Taking this important time is precisely for the reason Jesus stated, The Sabbath was made for us.  It was created precisely because we need that time away from work and time with each other and God.

If you do not practice Sabbath-taking, do so.  If your Sabbath is rule infested (don’t do this, don’t do that), relax it.  Spend time with God, with family, with friends.  Go for a long walk, ponder the mysteries of the universe, get some rest.

And do it routinely.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 3-6-23

We are well into the season of Lent.  This week’s meditation is on the discipline of study.  When we study scripture and theology, we learn more of God, and most important, we grow closer to God. 

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4

Studying scripture to learn the “who, what, when, where and why” of scripture is important.  Knowing what happened “way back then” is great knowledge, but our study must be more than book knowledge of the scriptures.  The two biggest questions about any scripture are these: What was God telling the original hearers of the word?  What is God telling us today?  These two questions might be answered with the same answer, and sometimes it can be different.  The great thing about the scriptures are that they can speak to us in our situation today even if the original writing was to an ancient situation.

Studying the word takes us beyond the face value and into the depths of God’s connection with us.

This week, take some time to study a passage.  Get a commentary, ask your pastor about it, try to go deeper with one passage and ask yourself the two questions.


Pastor Bill