One Sabbath while Jesus was going through the cornfields, his disciples plucked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He 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?” Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”
On another Sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him to see whether he would cure on the Sabbath, so that they might find an accusation against him. Even though he knew what they were thinking, he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” He got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save life or to destroy it?” After looking around at all of them, he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored. But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus. (Lk. 6: 1-11)
Good laws have good purposes behind them. The same is true of God’s laws and man’s laws. When we forget what the purpose behind the rule is and then apply the rule without regard to why it was created, the results that follow can become absurd. Take for example the law against speeding. The law exists in order to maintain public order and safety. Say, for example, someone in your car has a heart attack and you have to get to a hospital as quickly as you can. What you do you do? If you speed, you are in violation of the law, but if you don’t try to get to the hospital as quickly as possible, the person may die. My choice would be to try to get to the hospital as quickly as possible even if I have to speed. The speeding law was made to keep us safe; we were not made so that speeding laws could exist.
In today’s reading, Jesus encounters the Pharisees who forgot what the purpose of the Sabbath was; it was a day set aside for people to remember who God is in their lives and to worship God who is all goodness and love. So when Jesus has the opportunity to do good and to heal the man with the withered hand, he does it. Why? Because what a better way to remember who God is than to do good on the day set aside to remember God’s goodness and love for us.
Let us pray: Lord sometimes we forget why you ask us to do the things that you do. Sometime we forget the purpose for Your laws. Help us to live out our lives in joyful obedience to Your will remembering that You desire what is best for us. Help us not apply Your laws with empty hearts, but with hearts directed to Your loving will. Amen.
Second Annual St. Augustine Art Show. This year’s theme is “Spirit”.
2 October 2010, the St. Augustine Fish Fry! It’s back, and it will be done in conjunction with the Second Annual St. Augustine Art Show. Tickets are $7 per plate. Please contact Melva Pope for tickets.
9 October 2010 at 10:00 a.m.: The Blessing of the Animals on the Church lawn. Bring your dogs, cats, pets of all kind to be blessed.
PLEASE REMEMBER EVERYONE ON OUR PRAYER LIST, especially those serving in the Armed Forces at home or abroad, the chronically ill, people undergoing special medical concerns, those who care for the elderly, those who are traveling, and those who have no one to pray for them.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550