Devotional Reading: Mark 7: 1-23
Text: ‘This people honors me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.’ (Jesus quoting the prophet Isaiah v. 6b)
When I was a kid the “big issue” in the church my family attended was whether or not women could wear slacks in the sanctuary! Oh my! Over the years the “big issue” has changed. Are blue jeans acceptable? How about shorts? How short can shorts be before they are too short? What about coffee or tea? I really don’t know the answer to any of those questions but I’ve lived in enough different places to know that such questions are a reflection of local custom, culture and upbringing. As a minister I’m just happy that they’re in worship!
Jesus quoted the Old Testament prophet Isaiah in response to criticism that His disciples were not keeping the traditions of the elders. Jesus was respectful of the elders and kept the traditions Himself, but He also knew that in Him God was doing “a new thing.” Some traditions had to be put to rest for they served their time.
I think that God is still doing a new thing. There have been many books recently written about this. I don’t know exactly what God is doing but I trust God. In the meantime I just have to sow the mustard seeds of God’s love every day.
Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? Help me answer honestly, O Lord. Amen. (based on the writings of Henri Nouwen)