Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
By Lois Parker Edstrom
Checkerboard and checkers
Do you play checkers? (Called draughts in some countries.) If you haven’t tried it, you should. It is a fun game that can be played with your brothers and sisters, parents, and grandparents.
As with any game, there are rules. Those of you who have played checkers may like to help list some of the rules.
• Checkers is played with two players.
• Each player has twelve checker discs, usually red and black.
• The checkerboard has 32 dark squares and 32 light squares.
• Moves are allowed only on the dark squares.
• Each player takes turns.
• Only one move is allowed unless you are able to jump over your opponent’s checker and capture it.
• When a piece is captured it is removed from the board.
These are just a few of the rules for this simple game. While it is important to have rules and play by the rules, it is also important to have fun. Some people become so concerned with rules and winning that they forget about the spirit of the game which is to have fun.
Jesus talked about this very thing. When he lived on earth he told the Pharisees, “For you set aside the commandment of God, and hold tightly to the tradition of men” (7:8).
He was displeased because the Pharisees were people who lived by rules, but sometimes forgot about the Spirit of God. They washed their hands and kitchen pans in a certain way; they ate in a certain way. They had strict rules for how they should live.
They were so busy keeping rules made by men that they missed the fun – the most important part, that God loves them and has a plan for their lives.
The same is true for us today. Living as a Christian is an adventure. There are rules that we must follow, to be sure, and these rules help us keep everything in order, but we must remember to live in the Spirit of God.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2007, Richard Niell Donovan