getting out the WORD - the 14th sunday after pentecost
Written by Pastor Bob
Thursday, 03 September 2015 18:50
the PRAYER... O God our strength, without you we are weak and wayward creatures. Protect us from all dangers that attack us from the outside, and cleanse us from all evil that arises from within ourselves, that we may be preserved through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
the READING... Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around [Jesus], they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. Mark 7:1-8 , Mark 7:14-15 , Mark 7:21-23
the DEVOTION... I hate to admit it, but this is one of "those" passages! The kind that get us into trouble, that give us a bad name! Obsessing on sin; fixating on wrong doing. It starts out simple - innocent - enough. Disciples not washing their hands. But it quickly escalates. Fornication! Theft! Murder! Yada! Yada! Yada!
Truth is, Jesus isn't - and Jesus' people aren't - about standing back and pointing fingers. We're about forgiving! Second chances! New beginnings! For six chapters, Mark's been telling us about Jesus! Casting out demons! Healing the sick! Cleansing lepers! Raising the dead! And not once has he mentioned unwashed hands. Not until now. Not until "saints" have come up from behind and look over shoulders! In fact, this is the only place the word's even used in the entire book! And it's the Pharisees - not the church - who use it!
The gospel isn't about dirty hands! The gospel is about believing and dreaming and loving! It's, especially, about loving! Evil intentions may come from the heart. But every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from god!
They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.