Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
October 27th, 2008

Eileen Wirth

Journalism Department
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“This daughter of Abraham whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the Sabbath day from this bondage?”

This passage from Luke shows Jesus at his common sense best. Follow the law, of course, but don’t let petty literalness trump its spirit. As I think of the whole question of Sabbath observance, however, we’ve reversed the situation.

We may literally observe the Sabbath by heading to church but as a society we’ve gotten away from the spirit of Sabbath observance.

I grew up on a farm where Sunday was the only day my Dad took off and he loved it – a real Sabbath observer, except for one unvarying interlude that Jesus would have approved of.

As soon as we returned from 7 a.m. Mass, Dad donned his work clothes and headed out to the feedlot where a lot of hungry Angus awaited him. Our Sunday brunch was delayed until after theirs.

“No matter what happens you have to feed the cows,” Dad said.

Our afternoons were quiet – boring, you might say, but Sunday had a rhythm like no other day.

As I think back on those childhood Sundays, I wonder how many of today’s kids will have a strong sense of Sunday as a day set apart even if it includes a trip to church.

Drive by a shopping center parking lot and the only way you’d guess it is Sunday is that it’s probably more crowded than during the week. I’m as guilty as anyone else. Just this afternoon, I made an appointment to go shopping with my daughter tomorrow (a Sunday).

So what does the Sabbath mean to us today? If Jesus showed common sense in bending the Sabbath rules to perform a good deed, maybe we should show common sense by consciously reserving part of every Sunday to worship, rest, reflect and restore ourselves as God intended even if, like my Dad, we can’t avoid “feeding the cows.”

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