In the Gospel of Matthew
at the beginning of chapter 12
an incident is described
in which Jesus and his disciples
are walking through a field of standing grain.
The disciples are plucking the ripe heads
and eating them because they were hungry.
The Pharisees protested because
according to the letter of the Law
this constituted doing work on the Sabbath,
which is forbidden.
Jesus took this situation as a teaching moment
and explained how legalism can inhibit spirituality.
You may wish to read the passage (Mt 12:1-8).
Once when I meditated on this scene,
trying to understand the lesson being taught,
I wrote in my prayer journal
the following poetic interpretation.
I hope you enjoy reading it
and wonder at the mystery hidden within the
THROUGH THE STANDING GRAIN
Make a pathway through the standing grain;
live your life with more than just your brain.
Follow Jesus as he teaches you
how to pluck the grains of what is true.
There are those who want you to be strict
and throw away the grains that you have picked;
but Jesus speaks to them of tables turned:
the law of love's essential to be learned.
To value law and protocol is good
because it helps us live the way we should;
but putting law above all human pleas
is just to emulate the Pharisees.
The pilgrimage we make keeps God's precepts;
The loving heart builds on the mind's concepts.
We must be fed on grain that Jesus gives
to gain the strength to live the Way he lives.
So walk through life with disciples who obey
the Word of God who loves and leads the Way.
Be not fooled by teachings that are vain
as you follow Jesus through the standing grain.
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The "Being Stirred" quote for this posting is
“To-day, the waters of this stagnant pool were wildly stirred.”
21 April 1862 entry in diary of Mary Chestnut.
("A Diary from Dixie", Gramercy Books, 1997)