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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

Guide me always to do your holy will
knowing that your strength will
carry me through.

Consciousness

Grant, O Lord, that I may be conscious
and grateful for all the good things you have given to me.
May I share my blessings with others always.

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

I begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture I have just read.
What part of it strikes a chord in me? Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story I have heard recently - will slowly rise to the surface in my consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to 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

If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.

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