Monday, October 31, 2005

Oct. 31, 2005
"Shift Controls the Narnians"
Mark 2:56-3:6

In the book The Last Battle, Shift, the ape, takes over Narnia and orders all the animals to work against their will. He says to them, “You think freedom means doing what you like. Well, you’re wrong. That isn’t true freedom. True freedom means doing what I tell you.”

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus confronts a similar problem. Instead of Shift making people work against their will, the religious leaders of the day, in order to preserve the Sabbath, had made a lot of laws in order to control the people. The Sabbath was no longer a day to honor God and rest, it had become a burden. In chapters two and three, the religious leaders get mad at Jesus because his followers are picking grain and Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath. The rules and regulations of the religious leaders had become so strict, that Jesus could not even heal a person on the Sabbath because that was considered “work.” Jesus confronts his accusers and says, “The Sabbath was made to benefit people, and not people to benefit the Sabbath,” and he says the Sabbath is a day for doing good.

I hope we will use the Sabbath as a day to rest and regain energy for the next week. I also hope the Sabbath will become a time for us to worship God and to do good things for others. True freedom is being able to follow God and doing what pleases him.

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