One eats in holiness and the table becomes an altar.
Martin Buber, Israeli (1878-1965)
Jesus came to fulfill the law, not to abolish it. Rules about Sabbath and what one could do and not do, identified in minute detail, filled the Pharisee's minds and ways of being. What might we be invited to consider in the following words about the intention of the law? What is Jesus fulfilling instead of abolishing?
Sabbath rest is more than setting aside time and space for intentional nourishment and feeding of the soul. It certainly does include this, because this kind of space and time shifts our attention from our own self-referenced efforts and work towards God, which fosters greater gratitude and thankfulness within us. The intention of Sabbath, stopping to let go for rest and renewal in God, changes us. We begin to see that all of life is holy space filled with God's presence and provision.
Consider "walking through the fields" with Jesus as a way of growing in deeper trust and joyful freedom. Imagine yourself in the following story as you read it. Where are you?
Mark 2:23-28 NRSV
One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath? And he said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions." Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."
For Reflection and Prayer:
What did you hear as you listened/read?
Was there a word or phrase that stood out to you? Write about what you heard.
If you choose, refer to 1 Samuel 21:1-7 for David's story.
What is Jesus teaching about Sabbath in these words?
How is it you come into Sabbath? What is the intention of Sabbath for you?
What distracts you from experiencing Sabbath?