Faith Daily | 3 September 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p576
Lord of all power and might,
the author and giver of all good things:
grant in our hearts the love of your name,
increase in us true religion,
nourish us with all goodness,
and of your great mercy keep us in the same;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 6: 1-5
One sabbath while Jesus was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them. 2But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” 3Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4He entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and gave some to his companions?” 5Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Jane Markotsis
Did you know that in Vermont, it is illegal to whistle underwater? In Wyoming, it is unlawful to take a picture of a rabbit in the month of June, and you could be arrested in Georgia if you keep your donkey in a bathtub. I imagine that the stories behind these laws are just as humorous as the laws themselves. Think about it. What circumstances must have come about to cause Vermont to make it illegal to whistle underwater? Whatever the law is, or whatever the original reasons for these laws, we can be fairly confident that none of them are still laws today, or if they are still laws, they are no longer enforced (although I hope none of you are keeping your donkey in the bathtub).
In Luke, we come upon a similar type of situation. There is a law which was a good and genuine law. Keeping the Sabbath holy was a law commanded by God. In fact, this law was one of God’s Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. It wasn’t a crazy law like the ones we just looked at, but over time, it became a little crazy. Keeping this law became rather ridiculous. It didn’t become this way because of anything God did or said, but because humankind got involved and tried to improve on God’s law. God made a very good and practical law he wanted his people to obey, but they turned it upside down, and twisted it into something impractical and quite impossible to obey.
Then Jesus comes on the scene and brings people back to the original intent of the law. He doesn’t come to get rid of the law so much as show what God’s original intent was for the law. Jesus is telling the Pharisees that they had made the Sabbath too much work and Jesus teaches them (and us) not to be so legalistic with the law. In Luke 6:1-5, Jesus and the disciples go against the grain of the Sabbath day regulations.
When the Pharisees question Jesus about his disciples eating grain, Jesus reminds them of 1 Samuel 21. Through this Old Testament reference, Jesus is telling the Pharisees that if they condemn his disciples, then they also condemn David. Jesus is also saying that God’s law never intended to exclude people from basic needs, like eating, and David is an example of what the law really meant. At this point I think there may have been a long silence and the sound of chirping crickets in the background.
When you stand up to legalism as Jesus did, you are not just standing up for your freedom in Christ, but also for the freedom of other Christians. Jesus defended his disciples to the legalistic Pharisees, and we too should stand up for the freedom for which Christ has set us free.
Lord Jesus Christ,
thank you for the wonderful example of your life,
which was lived in spirit and truth.
A life that demonstrated love as well as justice,
a life that cared for all humanity,
especially those who were weak or hurting or marginalised,
or those who were sinking into a pit of despair or poverty.
May we become your eyes and ears
and may your heart of love and grace
flow through us to those that are in need. Amen.