A Sabbath Day Reflection
On Sabbath as was my custom, to the synagogue I made my way,
though my withered hand was heavy and my heart had gone astray.
My right hand it had worsened, and I prayed to be made whole;
“The Lord has judged you for your sins,” the Pharisees said, with judgment bold,
and their cruel words crushed my very soul.
All sacrifices and Sabbaths, so truly I had kept,
why then should the Lord curse me? Most bitterly I wept.
My spirit died each day, though I must live with this pain,
I must not break the Sabbath, and earn the Pharisees’ disdain.
Jesus of Nazareth taught that day, of the law and prophets, he told,
he exposed the very heart of God, and spoke with wisdom bold.
The Pharisees kept a close watch on him, would he heal anyone that day?
They sought to charge him falsely and cruelly put him away.
Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them-“Should we do good or evil?”
“Is it lawful to save a life? Does the Sabbath permit to kill?”1
“If your sheep falls into a pit, will you rescue it or say,
Let it die and face its fate, for this Sabbath day?”
If you choose to do good, on Sabbath day you can.”2
“Man was not made for Sabbath, said Jesus,
Sabbath was made for man.”3
Then Jesus turned and looked at me, I did not understand,
why he asked me to stretch forth my withered right hand.
Slowly I removed my cloak and held out the hand I abhorred,
to my uttermost astonishment, it was fully restored.
The Pharisees took offense at this, with fury they swayed,
they held counsel with Herod’s men to secretly put Jesus away.
As for me, a new teaching I heard that day,
No one had dared defy our tradition before,
a hunger awakened in me,
to follow Jesus and learn more.
I wrestle with God’s laws no more, but stand firm in His grace,
in learning to trust and let go, I find my Sabbath rest.
And there is a special Sabbath for those stricken in their soul,
Weary and guilt-laden, yearning to be made whole.
Fear not and let him touch you, be still, that is your part
For he who bids you enter his rest, is gentle and humble in heart.4
1 Luk.6:9; 2 Mat.12:11-12; 3 Mrk.2:27, 4 Matthew 11:28