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Faith Daily | 19 January 2021

PRAYER of the WEEK Epiphany Two

Almighty God,

by whose grace alone we are accepted

and called to your service:

strengthen us by your Holy Spirit

and make us worthy of our calling;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 2: 23-28

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.”

GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Angela Back

Jesus and his disciples are walking through the fields. We can imagine their pleasure in being out in the open, perhaps having been surrounded by people. There is ripe corn but the harvesters are not in the field. They are ‘keeping’ Sabbath. Even to pick grains of corn is ‘work’. Jesus had already been quizzed about not fasting, and had spoken about the ‘new wine’ needing new wine skins. There are critical onlookers, and Jesus, indirectly references his messianic role. The Kingdom is about to break in on this ordinary, humdrum but beautiful farming world. Jesus, always relational, in reply to his critics, comments ‘the Sabbath was made for people’, not the other way around.

From the beginning Jesus was in on this beautiful world. The genesis story is His story. The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. These are difficult statements. But perhaps we need to go back to the first mention of Sabbath, in Genesis. In the Message we read: “God looked over everything he had made: It was so good, so very good.” Then God, on the seventh day, God celebrated. There was a holiday, holy, wholesome! To literally take stock of this amazing world, teaming with life, and to enjoy it… The implication is that we, who are likewise created, are part of the celebration. How marvellous of God to invite us to a day especially for rest, to cease our analytical, workaday ways of living, to have time to ponder, to relish this life we are called to live in His presence, this life we share with all living creatures. To allow our bodies to catch up. We can of course celebrate Sabbath, not just on Sunday. We can aim for a life of gratitude, wonder and delight every day.

FINAL PRAYER: Iona Abbey Worshop Book, Wild Goose Publications

Each thing we have received

from you it came, O God.

Each thing for which we hope

from your love it will be given.

Kindle in our hearts within

a flame of love to our neighbours,

to our foes, to our friends, to our loved ones all,

from the lowliest thing that lives,

to the name that is highest of all.


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