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Daily Prayer - 2019-07-19

Presence

To be present is to arrive as one is and open up to the other.
At this instant, as I arrive here, God is present waiting for me.
God always arrives before me, desiring to connect with me
even more than my most intimate friend.
I take a moment and greet my loving God.

Freedom

I need to close out the noise, to rise above the noise;
The noise that interrupts, that separates,
The noise that isolates.
I need to listen to God again.

Consciousness

Lord you have called me ‘the light of the world’.
Let me be always conscious of those you want me to serve,
The hungry and the homeless,
The sick and the destitute,
The stranger and the refugee.

The Word of God

Matthew 12:1-8

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. When the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, "Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath." 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."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • An exception to Sabbath prohibitions had in fact already been made by the rabbis – allowing people who were hungry to gather grain manually from the edge of cornfields (and the disciples, followers of an itinerant Jesus, might indeed have been hungry).
  • There was another exception for the temple priests who, on the Sabbath, were obliged to bake (a labour !) the sabbath thanksgiving loaves. But now, Jesus says here, is “something greater than the Temple” : the temple was the dwelling-place of God with his people – Right now, however, it is Emmanuel (‘God-with-us’) who walks the earth and its cornfields (someone greater, also, than King David himself).
  • The sabbath was modelled on God’s rest-day after the days of Creation. It was meant more as a relief for people, than as a set of religious exactions. “God did not institute the Sabbath to add burdens to an already over-burdened humanity. The Sabbath is a moment for God’s people to pause and take time out to come to know better the God whose delight is to be with them”.

Conversation

Jesus, you always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth.
Teach me to have a childlike trust in you.
To live in the knowledge that you will never abandon me.

Conclusion

I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Amen

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