Mark 2:23-3:6 (NRSV)

23 One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? 26 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.” 27 Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; 28 so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”                            

1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” 4 Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.                            

Mark 2:27 (NRSV)

27 Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath;

DEVOTION -Matthew L. Reger (Ohio)

We were headed to church one Sunday morning when my dad made a turn in the opposite direction.  I asked where we were going, and he hold me we were going to worship God in a different way that day.  Always up for something new, I was excited about this adventure.  He explained that we were on our way to visit his friend’s grandmother.  Since his friend had moved away there was really no family to visit with her.  For the next hour we sat in a small apartment that had a distinct musty odor,  spending time with a deeply appreciative and lonely woman.  When the visit was over, we left with a promise from my dad to return.

That happened over 30 year ago.  After that initial visit, my dad continued to regularly visit this woman.  He would converse with her, fix small things, and sometimes help with grocery shopping if needed.

My dad showed me another among many ways to worship God and taught me that worship does not have to be limited to a church service.  Worship in church is important because it is done in a community that loves God and wants to express that love.  That is exactly what my father and I did when we visited this woman.  We shared God’s love with her.  It is the same lesson that Christ demonstrated; helping those in need is always a good option.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: What is a new way I can worship God today?

PRAYER: Dear God, help us to keep the Sabbath in our deeds by remembering that we are to love others because you first loved us.  Amen.