Wednesday, September 22, 2021

A Reflection by Rev Alistair McLeod for Sunday 29th August 2021

September 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Weekly Reflection

Scripture:  Mark Chapter 7: 1, 8, 14, 15, 21 to 23

We have learned during the last eighteen months or so that in this age of Covid 19, we can be very much defiled by not washing our hands regularly.  In those early days we are even warned not to touch our faces.  So, what is Jesus talking about in this passage.  Is he trying to encourage us not to eat with dirty hands?  Well, no.  But he is trying to make a point to the Pharisees and scribes that it’s is not what is on the outside, but it is what is in our hearts that defiles us.

Jesus warns that when we put human traditions over God’s direction, our hearts become wicked.  He gives us a substantive list in verses 21 to 23, teaching that these terrible things do not come from not washing our hands, but they come from within our own hearts – for it is from the unclean heart that defiles us.

And these are some rather hard words to take on-board: wickedness, murder, slander, greed, malice, envy, theft, evil thoughts, etc.  We could very easily skim over these words with the thought, “Well I don’t do all that!”  But try instead to keep it simple and ask yourself, “Am I living as God wants me to live, and am I honouring God with my lips, while my heart is far from God?”  Now this is not an invitation for you to dive into a pool of guilt. Rather let it be an opportunity to ‘spring clean’ and see if there is anything in our lives that needs to change, or needs to be made better.

And now a prayer for you:

Loving Father, sometimes in the busyness of life we lose sight of the things we know we should do to make life easier for our loved ones, our friends, and those we do not know.  Help us not to lose the ability to find ways to be more loving to one another and to love you as you love us. Amen

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