At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. When the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath." (Matthew 12:1-2)
Who does this? Who stops hungry people from getting nourishment? Perhaps we can all remember a time—if not our own experience, then in stories from our grandparents, or movies (think Chariots of Fire), when anything and everything except worship and personal devotions seemed to be forbidden on Sunday. These things, like this rule of the Pharisees, are not commanded in the Bible. Rather, they are man-made fences designed to keep us from even getting close to breaking the Law of God. But fences not only keep out what’s intended, they can also block what’s not intended. For example, you might build a fence to keep the coyotes out, but it will also keep you from your neighbours. You can read more thoughts about unintended consequences of fences at The Coffee Shop Rabbi.
Prayer - Father, in my passion for you, help me to consider the consequences of the fences that I put up.