The woman set free from being bent over praises God while the synagogue ruler standing up straight remains bent over by the rules and regulations he is so keen on keeping. This daughter of Abraham knew her need and for eighteen years had endured the stares and whispers of those whose religious perspective placed the blame squarely on her bowed shoulders. Bad things happen to bad people. The synagogue ruler, a son of Abraham in a position of prestige and power, had no idea that the very things he held as holy prevented him from being holy. God said it this way more than once, “I desire mercy not sacrifice.” If the Sabbath is meant to return one to the place of rest, modeled by the Creator on the seventh day, then the Sabbath was always meant to reconnect the created to the God who commanded that rest be observed. Jesus said it this way more than once, “The Sabbath was meant for you. Not you for the Sabbath.” So the Sabbath that reconnects us to the One who commanded it begins with an attitude of care and concern for all of creation, beasts of burdens and daughters and sons of Abraham and everyone else for that matter, which is meant to lead us to act in ways that bring healing and peace and justice seven days a week. Or in other words: Sabbath sacrificed for mercy praises God while mercy sacrificed for Sabbath is no rest at all.