Monday, August 15, 2016

Pentecost 16 C - Isaiah 58:9-14

Isaiah 58:9-14
We should not miss the connection between satisfying the needs of the hungry and calling the Sabbath a delightful holy day. We are tempted to reduce the Sabbath to an hour obligation on a Sunday morning and released by “Go in peace. Serve the Lord” go off to serve ourselves. Keeping the Sabbath has less to do with resting from labor and more to do with restoring relationships. We trample the Sabbath when our gatherings are yoked to the pointing of the finger and evil talk over slights and offenses real or imagined without making any attempt to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3) We trample the Lord’s day when our Sabbaths are wrapped up in respectability and self-righteousness and never call into question our relentless pursuit of our own way, our own interests, our own affairs and our neglect to care for the “least of these.” (Matthew 25:40) If calling the Sabbath a delight is delighting in the Lord then it follows that the day must be about whatever delights the Lord. I think what delights the Lord most is when the lines between you and me or us and them are erased and we see that God has given us to each other. When in our Sabbath gatherings we care more about what difference we make in this parched and dry land than any of the things churches argue about the Lord is delighted. Then living the love of Christ is a well-watered garden and a never ending spring and we refresh this weary world with acts of kindness and mercy to make every moment of everyday a Sabbath celebration. Young Calvary member Drew Thomas gets that which is why on his birthday week he invites all of Calvary to collect water for his homeless friends at the Fort Worth Day Resource Center. And I have no doubt the delighted Lord skips for the sheer joy of it.

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