I will be on retreat for the next days, as one of three facilitators – and I will take the text below with me for reflection. It’s my turn to write a Lent reflection about this passage just when I return. I spent some time on it today already, and I find it such satisfying work to sit with Scripture. There is so much to be found when I give time and commitment to it, it’s ‘joyful activity’, and I’d love to do this more often… This joy is new – I used to fear the expectations God had of me, to find any more of them by reading the bible, and more reasons to feel judged. I was taught too to distrust my own understanding of what I read. This I’m unlearning. Instead I am learning now to expect good news, to meet the gentle and compassionate God who loves me so much. A world of difference.
12 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”
3 He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests.5 Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? 6 I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. 7 If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’[a] you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
9 Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus,they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.