Again he entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched him closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.Mark 3:1-6
A Blessing for Wholeness
“Shabbat Shalom!” rings throughout the world in every Jewish community at sundown on Friday. The Hebrew word Shabbat (Sabbath) comes from the verb shabath (to cease, desist, rest) found in Genesis 2:2: “On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing; he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.” On this sacred day, the Lord blesses all creation—land, animals, and humans—with shalom by commanding rest from their labors. The word shalom means wholeness and completeness in the sense of total restoration from a state of brokenness or deficiency.
Shabbat Shalom blesses our brothers and sisters, that God may restore them to integral peace and wholeness. By healing the man with a withered hand, Jesus consummately fulfilled the Sabbath benediction.
“Shabbat Shalom!” sings the Lord on his day of rest.
“Stretch out your hand,” said Jesus to the man he blessed.
3 Replies to “Shabbat Shalom”
Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored.
I rise to greet the day.
Sleep restored my body.
New cells circulate.
My feet grab the slippers.
I stretch out my waking hand,
Drawing the curtains in prayer.
Lord, be a light to my path
A lamp for my feet.
Thank you for your poem, Liz! May prayer rise like incense from your heart morning till night!