I got up early this morning to play some basketball with some guys at our church. It was extremely early when we began to play (5:30 a.m.) But, it was worth it to get some great exercise as well as hang out with these guys.
Basketball has rules that are important to make the game more enjoyable. Things like “out of bounds” and “fouls” and “walking” are important to keep the game under control. However, they are really subservient to the very essence of the game, simply playing and shooting and dribbling and defending and of course, scoring.
If the rules get too tight, the game ceases to be fun. No one likes to hear “foul” every time down the court. You would to prefer to have the game played more loosely creating more enjoyment.
In chapter 6 of Luke, Jesus has a confrontation with the pharisees concerning the rules. They were complaining that his disciples were working on the Sabbath by crushing grain with their hands as they walked through the field. Seems pretty petty to me. It gets worse however!
Later, they were concerned that Jesus was audaciously healing on the Sabbath. Can you believe the gaul of Jesus? How dare he doing good on the Sabbath? He broke the rules!
These religious leaders had gotten so caught up in making sure people didn’t break their rules that they had forgotten what the rules had been created to do. The Sabbath day had become more important than the very God the Sabbath day was designed to worship.
Rules like “Keep the Sabbath Day Holy” were really designed to help create relationship with God. Once Jesus came on the scene, the rules became less important than just connecting with the very source of it all! After all, Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath.
So, the key is for us to “enjoy the game of life.” And the only way that is possible is when we just hang out with our Lord. No need for rules when you are in his presence!