Monday, September 7, 2009

Sabbath & Rakyat

In Mark 2, Jesus talked about the Sabbath being 'made for Man' (and not vice-versa). It's clear that, in some sense, the rakyat were 'bigger' than this God-given/revealed institution, rich as its place was in tradition, history and Scripture.

Not that Man could dictate whatever structure or practice he wanted. Not at all. It's that God's love for the community had a sort of veto over the centuries-old systems.

In today's world, Christians no longer feel the scandal of Jesus doing something as unlawful as D.I.Y. harvesting (see vs.23). The Sabbath per se fails to engage us because we've never felt its hold on us (the way Jesus' contemporaries did, hence their outrage at His actions)

But what about other 'big words'? What, in today's context, can replace the word, Sabbath, in the phrase, "The Sabbath was made for Man, not Man for the Sabbath"? How about:
  • theology and doctrine?
  • denomination?
  • liturgy?
  • ecclesial bureaucracy?
  • Christian norms and culture?
How would you know if you've replaced the correct word? One simple test: Try doing something for the sake of meeting needs (vs.25) but which gets in the way of an accepted way of thinking or doing things (vs.26) as reflected in that new word.

See if people get angry. If they do, then you've found your word.

Note: Obviously, the principle here isn't restricted to ecclesiological (i.e. churchy) scenarios. It applies perfectly in corporate and political cases, too.

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