Daily Reflection
January 19th, 1999
Stephen T. Kline
Public Relations & Information
Hebrews 6:10-20
Mark 2:23-28

It happens all the time.  One of my daughters comes to me, wide-eyed and innocent-looking, to tell me that one of her sisters is upstairs breaking this, that or the other rule.  I imagine the Pharisees in today's Gospel reading wearing similar wide-eyed looks as they confront Jesus, whose disciples have plucked and chewed some heads of grain on the Sabbath.

"The disciples broke the rules!  Why?!  They're in BIG trouble."

"D-a-a-a-d! She took a cookie!"

I am sure that my daughters' motivation for tattling on siblings has little to do with the welfare of the accused sister, or even with the relative sanctity of our household rules.  I suspect they just like to get each other into trouble.

I can't pretend to know the motivation of the Pharisees.  But their behavior in today's reading reminds me of one of my worst selves -- the part of me that tries to catch someone else doing something wrong, the part of me that plays "gotcha" games.  It's the part of me that would make a flap over some guys plucking and chewing grain as they stand in a field on the Sabbath.

Could anything be more innocent?  Jesus uses the criticism by the Pharisees as an opportunity to talk about God's love for us.  The Sabbath is a gift of God for us, not a burden imposed upon us.

Jesus' common-sense friendship is an absolute necessity in my life.

When I am about to point my finger in criticism or blame, He usually is there, calmly reminding me that I'm being silly and boring.  The funny thing about it is that it does not take the wisdom of the ages to see through such petty behavior.

All it takes is developing a habit of stopping and thinking for a moment before I open my mouth.

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