“Lord of the Sabbath”
On the one hand, O God, keep us from falling into the trap of too easily justifying doing what we want to do or too easily justifying what others want to do by pretending that the ancient ways and instructions don’t mean anything.
On the other hand, O God, keep us from falling into the trap of too easily concluding that we are righteous and others are not because it appears that we follow the rules and they do not or of too easily concluding that because we follow the rules we have met all of our obligations to you, to ourselves, and to others.
Given that Jesus is our Lord, enable us to view and to treat the traditional spiritual disciplines such as sabbath observance like Jesus viewed and treated them, namely, as disciplines that are worthy of our respect and of our observance but not as opportunities to condemn other people or to neglect our responsibilities toward other people.
O God, help our practice of the spiritual disciplines to lead us to practice mercy, fairness, grace, and kindness toward other people.
“He said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests. Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and yet are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice”, you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.’” (Matthew 12:3-8)