Cadiz United Methodist Church
Monday, December 18, 2017
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
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Dr. Scott's Blog

Ms. Virginia's mailbox became another victim of a hit-and-run. Usually when that happens the mailbox is the one who bears the brunt of the collision. Such was the case once again. Since her husband had passed and she was enjoying the her "golden years" she needed someone to come and replace it for her. She was and is a prominent member of the church she attended and knew quite a few young men who would be able to perform the task. She asked a friend of mine named Chris if he had the time to replace her mailbox for her and of course he said yes. It was, after all, hard to tell Ms. Virginia no. Chris worked as a construction supervisor at the time and was very busy; consequently one day turned into two and so on until it was Sunday. This would be his one chance of getting her mailbox put up before a new week bring with it more tasks to be done than time to do them. Wanting to honor his commitment to Ms. Virginia Chris did what many of us would do, he loaded up the necessary tools and the new mailbox in the back of his work truck and headed to her house after church. So enough he was underway removing the remainder of the old mailbox and preparing to install the new one when Ms. Virginia came to her door and called out to Christ, "What are you doing?" Chris stopped and replied, "I'm putting in your new mailbox like I told you I would." "But it I Sunday. Chris you should be at home with your family." Knowing that Ms. Virginia was right Chris replied, "The ox is in the ditch." This of course is a reference to Luke 14:5 when Jesus was addressing the Pharisees about healing on the Sabbath. It was a phrase that had been repeated many times and used to justify allowing the business of the week to spill over into the rest of the Sabbath. No doubt Ms. Virginia had heard that phrase used many times before and could have allowed it to justify getting her new mailbox installed that day. However, M.s Virginia was from an era that honored the sanctity of Sunday. It was for her a day of worship and family time; a time to rest from the business of the week and recharge for the next week was always only hours away. Ms. Virginia smiled and said to Chris, "If he ox is in the ditch too much you need to either fill in that ditch or shoot that ox." Needless to say in one sentence she took away his justification for performing this task and with not another word said he loaded everything back into his truck and went to spend the day with his family. It seems to me that we have become a people whose ox has all but taken up residence in the ditches of our lives. Sunday no longer is a time of Sabbath. We have allowed the hecticness of our lives slip into our Sunday and take over. For some it is because we have become selfish. We justify our schedule being too filled on Sunday because we work the other six days. Of course we fail to realize that is how it was from the very beginning. God established one day as the Sabbath not two. Six-day work weeks are not new. hat is new is our self-focused idea that some how we know better than God who prescribed the Sabbath as a means of rest and worship. For some of us we have bought into the idea that spending all day on Sunday at a ball field or court watching our children play is paramount to Sabbath. We do it for them because we are good parents. Not to mention that somewhere in the recesses of our minds lurk the hope or desire that our kid will be one of the few that can go on to become pro. The idea that if we were to deprive him or her of that one extra day of playing that he or she will not get that scholarship. If it isn't a sport it is band. Being a father of a child who marched in high school band who is also pastor I have to admit that I have often coveted the ability of the band program to demand and receive the level of commitment that they get. Saturdays are absolutely crazy demanding. Arrive first thing in the morning to walk through the same program that they have worked on for months already Dr. Scott's Blog

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