“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

One Sabbath, Jesus was strolling with his disciples through a field of ripe grain. Hungry, the disciples were pulling off the heads of grain and munching on them. Some Pharisees reported them to Jesus: “Your disciples are breaking the Sabbath rules!”

Jesus said, “Really? Didn’t you ever read what David and his companions did when they were hungry, how they entered the sanctuary and ate fresh bread off the altar, bread that no one but priests were allowed to eat? And didn’t you ever read in God’s Law that priests carrying out their Temple duties break Sabbath rules all the time and it’s not held against them?

“There is far more at stake here than religion. If you had any idea what this Scripture meant—‘I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual’—you wouldn’t be nitpicking like this. The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath; he’s in charge.” (Matthew 11:25-30; 12:1-8 MSG

  • Last time we looked at this in a bigger picture. You had some time to do quiet reflection on your prayer card or whatever you find helps you. How did that go and where did it take you?
  • “Unforced rhythms of grace” – three key words – unforced, rhythm and grace – where does this connect with you at this stage of your life? What grace are you needing from God today?
  • What does “Keeping company with Jesus” look like for you? When are you most aware of this?
  • When you think about your spiritual journey does it feel “free and light” – how might you respond to this invitation from Jesus?
  • Where does nitpicking – yours or others’ – keep you from the “flexible heart” Jesus prefers.
  • Take a few minutes and hear this little invitation from the Apostle Paul – what words catch your attention, mean something to you?

“With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers and sisters,as an act of intelligent worship,

to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him.

Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.” (Romans 12;1.2 Phillips)


A Prayer for Light & Freedom

Almighty God, 
in whom we live and move and have our being, 
you have made us for yourself, 
so that our hearts are restless until they rest in you; 
grant us purity of heart and strength of purpose, 
that no selfish passion
may hinder us from knowing your will, 
no weakness from doing it; 
but that in your light we may see light clearly, 
and in your service find our perfect freedom; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Augustine: 354-430)