As we listened to a message on Sabbath keeping a couple of weeks ago, my friend leaned over and whispered in my ear, “do you cook on Sabbath?”

It should be noted that I love to cook, while this friend does not.

So I whispered back, “Sometimes.”

The only thing we outlaw completely in our Sabbath practice is legalism. Often, we eat leftovers, or canned soup and sandwiches. But today, I planted herbs in the garden. and then, unexpectedly, my husband brought home sweet corn on the cob from the grocery store. It’s not corn season locally here in northern Illinois, that corn is likely from Florida or even Mexico. I worried about its quality, which could be compromised by its long journey from field to our table.

But fresh herbs cover a multitude of sins, so I thought my garden herbs might be able to rescue it. since I’d planned grilled chicken, I Googled grilled corn. I made an herb butter from the newly planted basil, my perennial thyme and parsley.

My family loved the simple dinner–grilled chicken, grilled corn with herb butter, rice and green beans. For me, cooking is a love language. when I can serve up something delicious, it is a way of showing love, a way of bringing joy to our table. When the weather turns warm, I seem to warm up to cooking. I stow the crock pot, fire up the grill, visit the garden and feel joy. When my kids say “Great dinner, mom,” I feel God’s’ smile.

Sabbath is a day to put aside the shoulds, the “ought to’s” and obligations. It is a day to connect with your family–in the garden or around the table. So should you cook on Sabbath? If it genuinely brings you joy and draws you closer to the heart of God. If it doesn’t, throw in a frozen pizza or open a box of cereal, and enjoy time with your family. Sabbath is about unhurried community, about joy. it is about refusing to feel guilt. If cooking brings that kind of freedom and joy to your life, then cook on Sabbath. But if cooking stresses you out and feels like drudgery or joyless work, then don’t do it. enjoy your freedom from cooking on this day. I think that’s what Jesus was talking about when he said the Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath.

Your thoughts?

also, here’s the corn recipe:

Take corn, carefully peel back husks, keeping them attached to the cob. Remove silk. Smooth husks back in place.

soak corn in cold water with a tablespoon or two of sugar for 15 minutes, then drain.

Grill corn in husks about 3 to 5 minutes per side.

Carefully pull back husks, grill corn until slightly charred, 5 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally.

slather with butter mixed with minced herbs and lime juice.