How to Keep the Sabbath Holy

Mark 2: 23-28

1 Sam 16:1-13/ Psa 89

Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
(Mark 2:27-28)

True worship lies within the heart,

Not in a special day or place;

We cannot set prayer apart...

In every breath let’s give Him praise!

One Sabbath Jesus was going through a field of grain, and as His disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:23-28)

Reflection

Jesus cited the incident about King David taking the holy bread that only the priests were allowed to eat (1Sam.21:2-7) to show that human needs should always take precedence over laws or rules.

God, in His goodness and mercy consecrated one day of the week for man to abstain from temporal or material pursuits, and give rest to his body while nourishing his spirit. “The Sabbath was made for man…” God knew that man needed to rest and take time to meditate on His relationship with Him, to praise and worship his Creator for his own good. God knew that if He did not command man to set aside one day for worshipping Him, man would become enslaved to the concerns of the world, and drift away from Him. This is the main reason for the 3rd commandment, “Remember to keep holy the sabbath day” (Exodus 20:8). But how many Christians, though they take time out from work on Sunday, remember to keep it holy? The cockpits are filled to the rafters with gamblers screaming to place their bets. The casinos and the massage parlors are doing brisk business on Sundays, and so are the malls and other places of recreation. Is this the way God intended for us to keep His day holy?

Perhaps God’s commandment to Moses in the book of Leviticus might show us the real meaning of the Sabbath. God said, “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When you enter the land that I am giving you, let the land too keep a sabbath for the Lord. For 6 years you may sow your field, and for 6 years prune your vineyard, gathering in their produce. But during the seventh year the land shall have a complete rest, a sabbath for the Lord, when you may neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. The aftergrowth of your harvest you shall not reap, nor shall you pick the untrimmed vines in this year of sabbath rest for the land. All its produce will be food equally for you yourself and for your male and female slaves, for your hired help and the tenants who live with you, and likewise for your livestock and for the wild animals on your land” (Lev.25:2-7). This means that if the land can have a sabbath rest wherein it will yield food for all, then man must also observe the Sabbath rest by providing food and other necessities to those who are in need.

There are many ways by which we can make our Sabbath (Sunday) holy, in praise and worship of the Lord. Many organizations and parishes hold their blood-letting activities with the Red Cross or the DOH on Sundays. Donating blood is one of the highest forms of generosity, because it is giving an ounce of life itself. Others do their medical missions of mercy on this holy day. And it is not a walk on a field of grain, but real hard work. Are they violating the Sabbath? Of course not. They are in fact doing what is most pleasing to the Lord of the Sabbath. Let us spend our rest day by extending a helping hand or giving a part of our resources to our destitute neighbors, especially the victims of the recent floods and the big mall fire.

Grant us, dear God to devote our Sundays and other holidays to worship You, give You thanks and praise, contemplate on Your Word, and to bring others to You through our good works. Amen.

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