“One sabbath he was going through the cornfields; 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.’” (Mark 2:23-28) I read a commentary once that stated “Jesus + Sabbath = Conflict!” Rather odd is it not, because we normally associate the Sabbath with rest and a ceasing from our regular labor. Moreover, we most certainly do not normally see it as the day reserved for battle. (Yes, I’m aware of NFL football, but put that aside for a moment!) Jesus fights with the Pharisees (the religious folks) because they (we?) insist on turning something good on its head. That is, to turn a wonderful gift into just one more point of labor; in this case, the most fruitless work of all: self-justification. Therefore, Jesus breaks his rest in order to save us from our futile efforts at saving ourselves. He goes to war so that we may find peace. I still catch myself from time-to-time trying to buy what has already been given to me. How about you? How might we better receive the Sabbath as the gift that it truly is? How might we better offer it to others who continue to strive and do not know the peace that only comes from the Lord of the Sabbath? Have a great week!