Soul Food: A Summer Worship Series for July 25—August 29
Bread is a basic staple food, filling and made of simple ingredients. In our society, bread is plentiful and readily available. In calling himself the Bread of Life, Jesus speaks to his identification with the needs of the everyday person. Following the Bread of Life discourse in John 6 and Jesus’ teaching in Mark 7, this series explores the idea of how our own lives are transformed from the invitation to partake of the life-giving realities in Jesus Christ.
Traditions can be a wonderful way of keeping us connected to our stories, reminding us of who we are and where we come from. However, without meaning or relevance, traditions can become rote practices, things we repeat simply because we’re used to doing them. They can bring us comfort and familiarity, but sometimes they can limit our understanding of the moment we’re in. Our message, Dirty Hands/Clean Hearts, will come from Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23.
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 (NRSV)
1Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3(For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4and 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.) 5So 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?” 6He 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;
7in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’
8You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”
14Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.” 21For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”