by Pastor Sarah Breckenridge
“Listen, to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.” ~ Jesus (Mark 7:14b-15)
Jesus is referring to how the Pharisees and scribes were upset that the disciples were eating with unwashed (defiled) hands. No question there were rules and rituals about what you could and could not eat. Jesus is making it clear that the rituals and traditions were becoming more important than what God cares about. And what God cares about is the heart!
So, perhaps in our lives there are some rituals, traditions or ways of doing things that need to be looked at.
Are we more worried about us looking “holy” than we do about helping others know they, too, are holy?
For what we take in is not as important as what we live out.
For the laws of God are not only written in stone, but also on our hearts. Rituals are our reminders of an inner life. Maybe you need a new ritual, a way of going within, to meet God through contemplative prayer or maybe it is a ritual of acting out of love in service to your neighbor in a way that will feed your soul? Maybe both?
“Whether it is immersing ourselves in water or prostrating ourselves to pray; whether it is fasting or feasting, doing acts of penance or fasting from food or words – what are the ways for us to honor God that have meaning now? What will prepare our hearts this day to receive whatever God wants to give us?” (Kayla McClurg)
Always remember it is not what we do or do not do that makes us holy — it is Christ Jesus!
So come Lean In to God’s life-giving words in worship this weekend!