Lent 3, Saturday, Year A

Inspired by Exodus 16:27-35

“On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, and they found none.  The Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and instructions?  See!  The Lord has given you the sabbath, therefore on the sixth day he gives you food for two days; each of you stay where you are; do not leave your place on the seventh day.’  So the people rested on the seventh day.”  Exodus 16:27-30 (NRSV)

Many people refuse to follow God because they find his commandments too restrictive of their freedom.  Why should we pattern our lives according to his will, when we have the ability to make our own choices and determine our own fates?

We do indeed have that freedom, but such an approach fails to recognize that not only does God’s wisdom surpass our own, but he cares more for us that we do for ourselves.

Left to our own devices, we often make choices that are harmful to ourselves and to others.  We work ourselves too hard, put too much pressure on ourselves to perform and succeed, and value people (including ourselves) based on externalities rather than who we are as individuals.

God recognizes us as vulnerable, beautiful, flawed, valued people.  He does not demand as much from us as we demand from ourselves, and his commandments are designed to ensure justice and peace for all.  Follow his commandments, and you will find rest for your body and your soul, and you will experience peace in your life.

Let us pray.  God of peace, you gave us your commandments as a gift.  Open our eyes to your wisdom and care, that we may realize how following your commandments gives us greater freedom than we would allow ourselves.  Through Christ our Lord, Amen.