This Sunday, after being immersed for several weeks in the Gospel of John, we are back to the Gospel of Mark (Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23). Our entry point is a conversation with Jesus about dirty hands and soiled hearts. Jesus is questioned by the religious leaders because his disciples don’t wash their hands before they eat.
In response Jesus warns against worship that is only lip service, and explains that it is not what comes from outside that defiles us, but what comes from the heart. The readings for this week all challenge us to live righteously and justly by following God’s law, living with humility and integrity and ensuring that we don’t focus on outward observance, but allow our hearts to be changed so that our service of God and others is a true, heartfelt response. Part of the call to be lovers of God and neighbour, is to embrace Love and allow it to move us to passion for justice, peace, unity, and compassion – especially for the least.
The heart of the matter is our faith is not just about what we do outwardly – it’s about having hearts set ablaze by the values and purposes of God’s Reign, so that we might practice “true religion” which liberates and restores others – especially the weakest and most vulnerable.
So come to worship .....Come be renewed with song, fellowship and meal......Come and have your heart cleansed and set ablaze.
In Christ, Pastor Jennifer