It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sabbath Directions, a Reflection on Isaiah 58:9b-14

On the sabbath and in the synagogue and in front of witnesses, Jesus healed the crippled woman. When confronted, Jesus responded that the woman needed help.

Centuries before, Isaiah also had words for hypocrites:
If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil(9b)

Jesus may have remembered Isaiah's reminder of what people who want to please God are supposed to be doing with their time:
offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted (10a)

Jesus's word to the religious leader about what is appropriate on the sabbath echo Isaiah's teaching:
If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs; then you shall take delight in the Lord. (13-14a)

Sabbath-keeping is caring for what God cares about.

But in this redirection, this caring, let us remember that the holy day of the Lord is intended to be a delight for us.

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