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And 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 2:28)

People often think that Christian morality rests on blind commitment to a list of rules.  They think so because Christians will sometimes make moral arguments by quoting one or two commands from the Bible.  In this passage, our Lord Jesus Christ shows us a better way.

Someone throws a law at Him—“You can’t work on the Sabbath!”—and He responds by going back to creation: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”  The Redeemer of creation, Jesus unpacks the divine will at work in time and nature alike.  God’s purpose in hallowing the Sabbath was for people to rest in His good work, not to live in the fear of doing work.

So it always goes for Christians.  Morality is not about checking off rules to keep ourselves pure; it’s about living as God has given us to live in His Son, who leads us faithfully into creation as God intends it: pure gift, pure rest, and pure joy.  Forgiven in the blood of Christ, we are free to take up the work He gives us without fear.

LET US PRAY:  O Lord of the Sabbath, You are the rest of the weary and the crown of creation.  Fill the earth with the joy of Your salvation, and write Your law upon our hearts; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God forever.  Amen

Pr. Steven K. Gjerde

Zion, Wausau