It's odd to us today to see any controversy over the Sabbath. We even forget that it is one of the ten commandments:
8Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it (Exodus 20:8-11, NRSV).
We may wonder at the idea that anyone would be upset at healing someone on the Sabbath. However, it may have been that the religious leaders were worried that a healer would make a show of it - making it more about their healing than about God. Or it could be that those in need of healing would also hijack the time which belonged to God.
|I've been a donkey on the Sabbath|
but I'm not sure if I've helped one then.
Every congregation has people that seem to divert the attention squarely on themselves.
Jesus reminds us of our priorities and of God's. We are happy to help our livestock - especially if it messed with us financially. How about some human compassion?
Today, our controversy over the Sabbath may not be that we're not compassionate enough - it may be that we have forgotten to keep it at all.
What makes the Sabbath holy for you and how do you keep it?