Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Taking Care of Business
At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” He went on from there and entered their synagogue. And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. Matthew 12:1-14
When I was a little girl, my sisters would babysit me from time to time. They would threaten to call my father if I was misbehaving, something that would strike terror in my heart. They would pick up the phone and I would hear his voice on the line and knew I was in trouble. Turns out that they were calling a recording. My Dad was enamored with technology and used to record his sermons, and set up a prayer line, where folks could call in, hear a recorded prayer and then leave a message concerning their need for prayer. I often think of that when I am writing this blog, how I have inherited his fascination with technology and try to use what we have for the good of others.
Today, we hear the story of Jesus feeding and healing on the Sabbath. Jesus was taking care of business, taking care of his disciples and the people that came to him in need, and was challenged by the religious leadership. They wanted him to abide by petty rules rather than offer life changing solutions. And when he didn't fulfill their laws, they were furious and plotting. They didn't seem to notice that people were fed and a man made well. They were too caught up in the rules to understand the rule of love, the business we are all called to be in - opening our hearts to others and offering food and healing to all.
Today, I ask God to help me focus on the other and their needs rather than the rules and rightness of today. I ask God to make my hands and heart be ever ready to serve - to feed and to offer love and healing to all who cross my path today. May we all be about God's business in every moment - offering love, healing, food and forgiveness to the people around us today.