If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! –Matthew 12:11-12
The Gospels record seven times Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath. In every situation, we don’t know the person’s name! (One was Simon Peter’s mother-in-law, so we know a bit more about her, but still no name.) We can only define these people by their malady and their location. I’ve listed all seven passages at the bottom, but let’s take a few minutes to look with more detail at three of these people.
I wish Luke gave us more information about this gracious hostess and resident of Philippi, so for some fifth Friday fun, I imagined a back story for her. Catch the real story in Acts 16 and a study on the same chapter (from Paul’s point-of-view) coming soon to Not About Me.
It was a business move. Nothing more. And yet Lydia relished the freedom of her new hometown. In Philippi, women were treated better—not exactly like men, but at least her neighbors weren’t surprised when they learned she kept her own books and made her own purchasing decisions. At first, she rented a small store front with an even smaller apartment in the back. It was enough for her and her two apprentices.
Sometimes my Type-A, list-making tendencies get in the way of my Sabbath observance. My to-do list is a Sabbath-stealer.
Going for a walk on a sunny, Sunday afternoon is, for me, a Sabbath-strengthener.
My guest post for Jeanne Doyon this week reviews some key points from our Sabbathing series and helps us all sort the Sabbath-strengtheners from the Sabbath-stealers. (They may be different for each of us.) Click on over, especially if you love a completed to-do list! Then leave me a comment there or come back here to share.
I love a good to-do list, but when I studied #Sabbath, God didn’t give me a list. Guess it’s #NotAboutMe…or my #ToDoList. (click to tweet)
When Jesus “riled up” the Pharisees by having His disciples pick grain on the Sabbath, He demonstrated to them—and us—that the Sabbath was created to serve us, not us to serve the Sabbath (Mark 2:27-28). He modeled the fact that we can and should take care of our own needs on rest days. In the second of Matthew’s examples, we’ll see that we can also meet the needs of others. Continue reading
I made a real effort to Sabbath well this past Sunday. (If you’re wondering why I say that, click back to last month’s part 1 and/or part 2 on Sabbathing.) It was better. I didn’t get the sit-down-and-meditate opportunity I had anticipated, but I chose not to do some things on my list and instead, spent time with my oldest child, doing something she wanted to do. Small victories, right?
I’ve backed into the topic of Sabbath, and I didn’t realize where the Holy Spirit would take me when I first typed “Sabbathing” on my computer last month. So this week, let’s go back to where we should have started—in the Word of God. Let’s dig into the first of two consecutive scenes where Jesus intentionally and publicly contradicted Jewish tradition.
We’ll call this part 3 on Sabbathing. Continue reading
Sabbathing, part 2
In part 1:
- I confessed my Sunday struggles.
- I eliminated some Sabbath-like activities that aren’t always purposeful. (Dare we call them Sabbath-stealers?)
- I gave you my short, working definition for Sabbath.
Although my activities are different, my mindset on Sundays (described last week) isn’t significantly different from the other days of the week. This is where my conviction began. Continue reading
The alarm on my phone is far more cheerful than I feel. No swiping for a snooze today. Since the kids are older, the pace is less frenetic, but we still have much to do before we lock the door behind us. We always leave late despite my best efforts. I carry my coffee to the car in my regular ceramic cup rather than taking time to transfer it to something with a lid.
I try to quiet my mind on the drive, and we’re careful not to argue or fuss at the children regardless of how the morning went. We split from the kids as soon as we walk through the church doors. Continue reading
Someone led him to his usual spot on the side of the road in Jerusalem. He made himself comfortable on this Sabbath morning and prepared to do the same thing he’d done every day for years. The same thing he expected to do every day for the next thirty years, maybe longer. It was his penance. For what, he did not know. He groped at his side for his bowl and cleared his throat. “Some alms for the blind? Can anyone spare a half-cent or a quadran?”
Sometimes people were generous, especially on holy days, when more people passed and more of them gave alms. Sometimes a wealthy man would put his hand in the bowl and rattle it but the weight of the bowl didn’t change. Strange that the poorer people never did that sort of thing. Rarely, someone would stop to talk to him; those were the best days. Continue reading