Friday, May 20, 2016

Stretch Out Your Hand

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 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 and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests. Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests in the temple break the sabbath and yet are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. But 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 left that place and entered their synagogue; a man was there with a withered hand, and they asked him, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath?” so that they might accuse him. He said to them, “Suppose one of you has only one sheep and it falls into a pit on the sabbath; will you not lay hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a human being than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and it was restored, as sound as the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. Matthew 12:1-14 

Recently we were in a restaurant and the waitress said that there were two types of people. "Those who share food and those who don't." I know that there are more than two types of people, but she did have a point. Some people like rules, like to keep what they have, while others love to explore and encourage adventure. Some of us can be sharers in the right moments but not when under stress or complications. When we find ourselves in complicated places, are we willing to be stretched or do we draw in and hold fast to the rules?

Jesus was about on the Sabbath when he and his disciples broke some rules. They knew what they were doing but they also knew the circumstances demanded mercy not sacrifice. Jesus goes on to heal a man with an injured hand which infuriated the religious leaders. They could not enter into the place where mercy and acceptance take precedence over the rules. God invites us to be people who live for sharing, live for love and live for mercy.

Today I ask God to help me live for love and mercy. May our lives demonstrate God's presence, that divine presence that is always merciful, always blessings and always more ready that we are to forgive.

No comments: