Rest in Inaction vs. Rest in Action
by Parthens — 08/16/2014
“Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. . . . Are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?” [Bible Lesson 6-7]
Thank God for the stupendous, breathtaking revelation of Mrs. Eddy concerning the nature of the Sabbath day understood spiritually, that “God rests in action!” (SH 519:25) This is why Jesus stood up so vehemently against the Pharisees and their do-nothing-on-the-Sabbath dogmatism, raising his voice against them right in the midst of the complacent confines of their comfortable lair, in the ears of the common people — to break the spell of institutionalized mesmerism, which turns the house of God into an opium den, spiritually speaking.
To Jesus, healing on the Sabbath was not only lawful, but the Law itself! Fulfilling the first and second great commandments is fulfilling all the law and the prophets. There is no other way. Hence, constrained by divine Love, Jesus could do nothing but heal the lame man on the Sabbath; he understood that were he to restrain or excuse himself from so doing, he would be in violation of the Sabbath itself, actually breaking, rather than fulfilling, the 6th commandment!
Because “the Science of Christianity comes with fan in hand to separate the chaff from the wheat” (SH 10), there is an impassible gulf separating the active, newness-of-the-spirit Sabbath from the passive, oldness-of-the-letter Sabbath (Golden Text).
Most of those who witnessed firsthand the spectacular works of Christ were so gripped by cultism that they refused to acknowledge God out fear of being cast out of the synagogue, evincing a faith-without-works listlessness that reminds me of words spoken by Martin Luther King in 1965: “Our generation will have to repent not only for the words and acts of the children of darkness but also for the fears and apathy of the children of light.”
Therefore, let me ever watch and pray without ceasing, in season and out of season, that I may ever be equal to the sacred, insistent, Sabbath call-to-action of “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”