Monday, 14 May 2012

Sabbath Monday

Monday.  The day of back to work,  back to school, and day of "where did I put my favourite socks?"  Traditionally Monday has been a Sabbath Day for Clergy.   And how very important a Sabbath Day is for Clergy.  A day to pray,  rest, relax, read the scriptures for the coming Sunday's sermon,   snore,  meditate,  pray in the presence of God.   While fewer and fewer Clergy are taking off Monday as their Sabbath Day,  it is extremely important for the Clergy to make one day each week their Sabbath Day.        And to stick to this day!    This means not hopping onto the internet just to check your e-mails (or mobile texts).   A day away in God's presence.     Making sure Clergy have one Sabbath Day spent in God's presence is good for the congregation too.    It keeps all the conflict and frustration contained to six other days... and frequently when one has a Sabbath day and really looks at one what was frustrated with,  the frustration isn't as big as it was originally thought.   A Sabbath Day keeps Clergy and Congregations healthy.  

So,  make time this week to spend one full day in God's presence.    Spend a day in God's glory.... pull up a lawn chair to a flowering Apple Tree and watch the bees do their work and pray.  What could be better than that then to spend a day in God's presence!    

Monday Retreat......
Prayer:    Turn towards us O Lord, and look kindly upon us as You always do to those who personally love You.   Steady our steps with Your Word of promise so nothing malign gets the better of us.   Rescue us from the grip of bad men and women so we can live life Your way.     This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read St. Matthew 15:  12 – 20

The disciples come to Jesus and state that the Pharisees are very upset with Jesus’ sayings concerning clean and unclean.
Jesus replies in a parable:  “Every tree that wasn’t planted by my Father in heaven will be pulled up by its roots.  Forget them. They are blind men leading blind men.  When a blind man leads a blind man, they both end up in the ditch.” The Message  Matthew 15: 13 -1 4
Peter says, “But I don’t get what you are saying!”
The NIV translates Jesus’ response as “Are you still so dull?”  
Jesus is saying whatever is in our hearts will come out through our talking.  If there are bad things and thoughts in our hearts,  then that is what we spew out. If there are good things and good thoughts in our hearts,  then only God’s goodness shines through our talking.
Then Jesus answers the Pharisees original  question of “why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders?  They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”   with “These are what make a man ‘unclean’ but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean’”.    This is the verse that makes every 12 year old boy rejoice…he doesn’t have to wash his hands because Jesus said so!        Jesus is saying that washing or not washing our hands is a mere tip of the law.  What is more important is what is in the person’s heart and what comes out in their speech and actions.     And yes,  we all still need to wash our hands before any meal not out of a law but out of physical health.  :)

Prayer:  Smile upon us, Your servants,  O LORD.  Teach us the right way to live.   This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Many blessings!

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