Remember the Sabbath

Lou Lotz

READ : Mark 2:23-28

The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath (v. 27)

Our great-grandparents called it the holy sabbath. Our grandparents called it the sabbath. Our parents called it Sunday. Today, people call it the weekend. The fourth commandment says: “Honor the Sabbath.” Do you?

When the Pharisees criticized Jesus’ disciples for picking grain on the sabbath, the Lord replied: “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath.” This means, I think, that while it is good to worship on the sabbath, it is not good to worship the sabbath. It is not good to take a day designed to meet our deepest needs and turn it into a prison of prohibitions. The sabbath is meant for religious expression, not religious repression.

The sabbath is a day for rest and worship. As a piano teacher uses a metronome to help a student develop a sense of rhythm, so God gives his children the sabbath to help us develop a rhythm for living—work and worship, labor and rest, outpouring and infilling, creation and re-creation.

A sailor confessed to his chaplain that he was having trouble finding God. The chaplain said that God can be found anywhere. Said the sailor: “I know God is everywhere. But I need to find God somewhere.” Where is that somewhere if not worship?


Father, thank you for the gift of the sabbath.