March 21, 2020

Scripture Reading: Mark 7:1-23
Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.’ You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”

  • I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I just can’t help myself: Don’t be like Jesus’ disciples. Wash your hands. And your dishes. Are you some sort of heathen? Of course, the point Jesus is trying to make is one about right worship and not about hygiene. After you wash your hands (for probably the 23rd time today), I invite you to journal about what “worship baggage” you might bring with you that sometimes gets in the way of your experience of God’s presence. There are all kinds of things that can distract us from what really important in worship: our relationship with God and one another. Is there something about worship, some human tradition, that you’re hung up on that prevents your heart from drawing close to God? How might you let that go for the rest of the season of Lent?
  • The Forty Days of Lenten practice exclude Sundays. Sundays are a day to gather with others to worship, to rest, and to give thanks. We will take a rest from our journaling practice on Sundays. Instead, I hope to see you at Maxwell Street for worship! 

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