Daily Office Readings for Saturday of Proper 26: Year 2
“On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the Sabbath, they were watching him closely. Just then, in front of him, there was a man who had dropsy. And Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, ‘Is it lawful to cure people on the Sabbath, or not?’ But they were silent. So Jesus took him and healed him, and sent him away. Then he said to them, ‘If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a Sabbath day?’ And they could not reply to this.” (Luke 14: 1 to 6)
Jesus asks a question about how closely they follow their own laws. This is God in Christ Jesus who sees “in secrete” and knows all that we do. But what he is trying to show them is that the Sabbath is a gift from God to them for their own health of body, mind and spirit. The Sabbath is not some tool of wrath of God, by which God might condemn them just for the sake of enforcing a law.
Besides all this, who prepared the meal they were partaking of on the Sabbath? No faith should have laws whereby only certain humans are to abide by. This includes my own tradition. Maybe one day we will let all persons desiring to partake of Holy Communion do so. We are not there yet unfortunately. I am not so sure that baptism was a requirement with our Lord Jesus to receive the Bread and Wine (Body and Blood), but it is for us.
No religious tradition is perfect. Sometimes it takes people from other traditions to show us our shortcomings. “Is it lawful to cure people on the Sabbath, or not?” Is it lawful to for the un-baptized to receive Communion or not? We all must follow our own paths. I am on the Episcopal path of the Jesus movement as our Presiding Bishop says. And, I am thankful. But I also see paths for improvement. I think Jesus is saying that not all laws should be absolute save loving God and loving our neighbors. These two laws of love are absolute laws under which all other lower laws must yield. Thank You Lord Jesus.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John