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Food for Thought, May 31, 2024

Guest Meditations:

The observance of the Sabbath had been for Israel a remembering, a bringing into the present the exodus story. It was not a nostalgic ritual, but a command to remember that God had loved Israel enough to bring the people into freedom. Yet Israel’s memory had faded into laws and rules. Jesus reminded them that God is concerned for all our needs, not our rules. Even David ate the Bread of the Presence when hungry and in need. David’s eating of the consecrated bread did not disturb or change its holiness. Rather, its holiness fed him both physically and spiritually.

Incredible though it may seem, God’s priority is love for us. That is not found in rules. It was found in Israel’s exodus journey to Canaan and most importantly in Christ’s journey to Calvary. In Jesus we have been set free from ultimate slavery. The resurrection on Easter morn was the fulfillment of the Sabbath.

Virginia L. Bennett


Deuteronomy makes clear that sabbath-keeping is meant for the welfare of all. God delivered the Israelites out of slavery, so they should not ever work anyone else’s seven day week. Even slaves should be able to rest; even resident aliens. Yet human beings can turn even the most liberating religious practice into a life-destroying rule. Jesus does not reject sabbath-keeping, but defends its original life-enhancing meaning. Our worship and our religious way of life are to lead to the hungry being fed and the sick being healed.

The Martyrs of Uganda, died 1886 and John the 23rd, Bishop of Rome, died 1963.

Christianity had been introduced in Uganda after 1877, but the successor to the ruler under which it came was angered by the Christian members of his court whose first allegiance was to Christ. On June 3, 1886 thirty-two young men were burned to death for refusing to renounce Christianity, and other martyrs followed. But impressed by the confident manner in which these Christians went to their death the persecution led to a much stronger Christianity within the country.

In his ministry as bishop of Venice John was beloved by his people. He visited congregations and began new ones. He had a special care for working class people and began social action ministries. At age seventy-seven he was elected Pope and convened the Second Vatican Council which brought about great changes in Roman Catholic worship which also influenced many Protestant churches.

Deuteronomy 5:12-15

Part of the Ten Commandments, these verses instruct the Israelites to keep the Sabbath. The Israelites are to rest and they are to allow their slaves, their livestock, and the foreigners living among them to do the same. They were once slaves, and so they are to treat their own slaves justly.

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

When we carry out God’s ministry we do so not for our glory but for the sake of Jesus Christ whom we proclaim as Lord. The power for ministry comes from God, not us, so that we persevere no matter what, trusting in God’s power and promises at work through us.

Mark 2:23-3:6

Jesus challenges the prevailing interpretation of what is lawful on the sabbath and tells his critics that the sabbath was made for humankind, not the other way around. Healing the man with the withered hand is work that cannot wait until the next day.

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July 10 Daily Prayer

Here is the link: May you find rest today knowing that you are one of God's beloved; someone God will forever love.

1 commento

Daniel Lieurance
Daniel Lieurance
29 mag

Thank you for this alternative reading of this Sunday's texts. In addition, the writings of Virgina Bennett are exceptionally simple, yet cohesively articulate and profound.

Mi piace
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