The Heart of the Sabbath
The Heart of the Sabbath

The Heart of the Sabbath

Good Morning,

Welcome to your online worship from St. Mark’s for Sunday, June 2, 2024.

In my sermon this Sunday, we reflect on Mark 2:23-3:6, where Jesus teaches that the Sabbath law is meant to serve the well-being of people, not to burden them. By highlighting the importance of understanding the intent behind God’s laws, Jesus shows us that true faithfulness involves compassion, mercy, and aligning our actions with God’s will. We are called to live with integrity and love, applying God’s commandments with a heart open to the needs of others.

Today’s Opening Sentence

Your word, O Lord, is truth; sanctify us in the truth.  – John 17:17

Today’s Reading – Mark 2:23-3:6

One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”
Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.1

Your Online Message and Prayers

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Reflection questions for the week: 

  • Reflect on a recent action or decision. Were your intentions aligned with God’s will? How did you consider the spirit of the law rather than just the letter?
  • Think about a time when you encountered someone in need. How did you respond? Did you act with the compassion and mercy that Jesus exemplified?
  • Consider a rule or commandment you find challenging. How can you better understand its intent and purpose to apply it with a loving and compassionate heart?
  • In what areas of your life might you feel tempted to bend the rules for personal gain? How can you strengthen your integrity and accountability to God in those areas?

A continued reminder that if you are at all uncomfortable being in-person for worship, or if you are not feeling well, please join us here online.

Thank you again for joining with your parish family in our online worship today.

Find out how you can support our ministry and good work in the community here.

God Bless you and have a blessed week. Be well!


The Rev’d Canon Rob Park

  1. Scripture quotation is from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.