June 2, 2018
Mark 2:23-28…“Then he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath;’” vs. 27
The sabbath had been a great gift for the people of God, a commandment that actually mandated rest, and it was one that they were glad to keep and observe. But through the years, great debates had arisen among them about the types of activities that were permitted on that day. By Jesus’ day, the rules regarding sabbath observance left nothing to chance–there were no loopholes. And Jesus thought it was ridiculous and allowed his disciples to do things that the rules did not permit. Of course, as time passed, those same followers of Jesus fell into the same pharisaic trap. Some of them fell in love with rules and began to put more emphasis on codes of conduct than on the gospel of grace. It’s so easy to move in that direction. We naturally want to practice piety in the course of our lives, but our emphasis on holiness can easily turn rigid and judgmental. It’s no accident that Christianity is associated with hypocrisy in much of popular culture. Too often we’re quick to judge and slow to forgive, and the compassion that belongs at the center of our faith can easily be obscured. In some circles, we’ve actually become known for discrimination and exclusion, and not for our kindness and healing. Sometimes it’s hard to understand how we could wander so far from grace!
Thought for the Day: Why are rules so appealing?