So, make time this week to spend one full day in God's presence. Spend a day in God's glory.... pull up a lawn chair to a flowering Apple Tree and watch the bees do their work and pray. What could be better than that then to spend a day in God's presence!
Prayer: Turn towards us O Lord, and look kindly upon us as You always do to those who personally love You. Steady our steps with Your Word of promise so nothing malign gets the better of us. Rescue us from the grip of bad men and women so we can live life Your way. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
St. Matthew 15: 12 – 20
The disciples come to Jesus and state that the Pharisees are very upset with Jesus’ sayings concerning clean and unclean.
Jesus replies in a parable: “Every tree that wasn’t planted by my Father in heaven will be pulled up by its roots. Forget them. They are blind men leading blind men. When a blind man leads a blind man, they both end up in the ditch.” The Message Matthew 15: 13 -1 4
Peter says, “But I don’t get what you are saying!”
The NIV translates Jesus’ response as “Are you still so dull?”
Jesus is saying whatever is in our hearts will come out through our talking. If there are bad things and thoughts in our hearts, then that is what we spew out. If there are good things and good thoughts in our hearts, then only God’s goodness shines through our talking.
Then Jesus answers the Pharisees original question of “why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” with “These are what make a man ‘unclean’ but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean’”. This is the verse that makes every 12 year old boy rejoice…he doesn’t have to wash his hands because Jesus said so! Jesus is saying that washing or not washing our hands is a mere tip of the law. What is more important is what is in the person’s heart and what comes out in their speech and actions. And yes, we all still need to wash our hands before any meal not out of a law but out of physical health. :)
Prayer: Smile upon us, Your servants, O LORD. Teach us the right way to live. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.