Both – And

May our words and actions be determined by wisdom and compassion.


Listen to my song “Mercy Reigns” on YouTube by clicking HERE.


Mark 2:23-24

As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the Sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain. At this the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”


One of the greatest lessons taught to me happened a number of years ago when a religious sister ended our debate over some issue I have long forgotten by telling me, “You need to think more “both-and.”

At the time, I remember thinking that was one of the dumbest things I ever heard of.

Today, I often tell others this same thing.

I consider it profound.

Our binary minds are much more apt to think “either-or.”

Either it’s in or it’s out.

Our minds are always separating the field into what’s good and what’s bad, what’s right and what’s wrong.

Sometimes we need to do just that…but many times we don’t.

We need to open our minds to the possibility of “both-and.”

In today’s scripture passage, Jesus’ disciples are breaking the law that prohibits working on the Sabbath by picking the heads of grain.

The Pharisees see it as a very black-or-white issue: the disciples are breaking the law.

But Jesus knows that his followers are hungry.

The law is still good as it’s meant to remind people to rest on the Sabbath.

But for Jesus…love and compassion always win out over the law.

He can both honor the law and break it when the situation calls for it.

May we all do the same.


Listen to the song of the day “Mercy Reigns” on the Mercy Reigns album by clicking HERE.

Stream and/or purchase my songs on Amazon Music by clicking HERE.

Remember…God loves you!

About billtonnis

Child of God, Pastoral Minister, Chaplain, Music Minister, Jail Minister, singer-songwriter, author, activist, former radio news anchor, imperfect follower of Jesus inspired by God's unconditional love, proud uncle... what else is there?
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