Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and 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.) So 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?" He 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;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.'
You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition."
Then he called the crowd again and said to them, "Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person." Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
It is not distance but control
nor different opinion but power
that keep us separate
as we push away the heart of love.
Our fear, rattling through our bones
makes us conform to society
follow fashion trends
raising our children to be consumers only.
Our faith, a decoration from childhood
is a place to go to be seen
a way to teach our offspring their place
and never a challenge to the heart.
In every generation we are given a choice
to choose love or society
choose wealth over compassion
success over service.
In every life God breathes
breath of deep love and humility
an ache and desire for kindness and forgiveness
we spend a life time shaking it off
sending God's love away.
In every moment God offers new
life and freedom, a rebirth of the heart
a path of light and promise
where voices are raised in tender song
and hearts are made one in love.
Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.