by Neil Bergmann
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So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath! (Mark 2:28)
Read Mark 2:23–3:6
Sometimes, when we look at the world around us, there seems to be hurt, injustice and oppression everywhere. As children of the kingdom of God, we are called to shine a light on that injustice and to care for everybody as our neighbour. The need is so great, and it seems the little we can do makes hardly any difference. We suffer from burnout and give up.
When you look at Jesus’ earthly ministry, you never get the feeling that Jesus was in a big rush to get everything that needed to be done in a few short years. He had time for individuals and their personal circumstances. He found time to retreat and pray. He rested.
How do you treat the commandment to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy? Paul tells us, ‘Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds’ (Romans 14:5). In other words, as New Testament Christians, we are not given a formula for how we are to treat this Sabbath commandment, but each of us is called to meditate on what it means and act on our understanding.
In today’s story, Jesus explains that ‘the Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath’ (verse 27). The Sabbath is a blessing of living in the kingdom of God, not a burden. We all need time to rest and recharge. Our bodies, minds, emotions and spirits all benefit from rest. That rest will be different for each of us, but it is always a gift of God.
Jesus, you are Lord of the Sabbath. Please help us find our rest in you. Amen.
Neil Bergmann is currently the chair of Lutheran Earth Care Australia and New Zealand. A retired computer engineer, he worships at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Rochedale, Queensland. He enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with his family.