I know a woman who is a fabulously good cook. Not only is the food delightful to taste – it is seriously good for you. The problem is that all her food comes with commentary.
Did you know that this food has Vitamin K?
And you get 85.6% of your selenium requirements from this kind of parsnip!
There are 28 trace elements required by the human body and this meal today is providing 14 of them!
To the extent that sometimes I feel so frustrated that I want to scream, “Shut up and let us just enjoy your good cooking!”
And then there is the Sabbath, a gift of rare beauty, that we want to surround by rules.
- Did you know that you can keep the Sabbath better by cooking everything on Friday?
- Maybe it would be better to only eat raw food on Sabbath?
- I wonder if microwaving is really cooking?
- Perhaps it is a sin to cut a fresh lettuce out of the garden after the church service so that we can have fresh salad?
One of the biggest sins of Seventh-day Adventists is that we do not know how to enjoy (worship) on Sabbath. Often our ideas of Sabbath-keeping are rooted in Puritanism and orthodox Judaism and have more to do with control than with worship.
I have baked bread on Sabbath – one of the most successful Sabbath School lessons I have ever taught. Man may not live by bread alone, but the smell of good home-baked bread wafting out of the study room had life in every lung-full, not to mention the enjoyment of those who ate it later.
My wife has skipped the church service to go home and prepare a meal for someone who needed a shoulder to cry on and a caring ear to listen too.
I have mowed lawns on Sabbath, when I was supposedly ingathering. Helping the needy is not just about collecting money for others.
The Sabbath is a gift, and unless we seek how we can share it with others it becomes a ritual surrounded by rules and as dry as the desert hills. That is not worship. This quarter we are studying Galatians. It would be a sad outcome indeed if we lost the plot. We are saved by grace; we are not bound by law-keeping. We are free to share the fruits of our salvation.
In many respects we are like the cook that spoiled her good food with badly timed science commentary.