Spice Tithes

Today the Gospel reading from Matthew 23 convicted me. This passage contains some of our Lord’s sharpest rebukes of the Pharisees. In verse 23, Jesus calls them hypocrites, for they give their spices, but guard their hearts.

My first thought was, “How do you tithe cumin?” My second thought was, “Should I have taken out a pinch the last time I bought it and stored it in a Ziploc bag?” And then, I realized that I’m a Pharisee.

Lord, is this Sabbath just an attempt to become more religious? Is it adding another useless layer of piety? You told the Pharisees that instead of increasing their spice-tithes, they should increase in fairness, mercy, and loyalty.

Are these Sabbaths causing me to open up or close off? Do they deepen my love for You? Do they increase my love for my neighbor? If not, why should I bother?

Since it’s Sabbath, I have nothing else to do but wait for Your answer.