Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost – 02 Sep – Mark 7:1-23 ~ defiled from within

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Prayer

Father of light, giver of every good and perfect gift, bring to fruition the word of truth sown in our hearts by your Son, that we may rightly understand your commandments, live your law of love, and so offer you worship that is pure and undefiled. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

“Here on earth” (Psalm 15) – The Shiyr Poets

Lord who may sojourn | Who may worship and rest
In your sanctuary | Here on earth
Lord who may live on | Who may dwell on your hill
On your holy mountain | Who may dwell

Those who walk without blame and do justice
Speaking truth from their hearts to their neighbor
Those whose tongues speak no slander | No wrong or hateful slur
Who despises a vile and evil man | Yet who honors all who fear the Lord
What they vow they fulfill even when it hurts | They will never change
When they lend to those in need | No interest will be charged | They won’t accept a bribe to speak against the innocent

Those who do these things | Will never stumble and fall
They will not be shaken here on earth
They will not be shaken here on this earth
They will never stumble, never fall here on earth

Lord who may sojourn who may worship and rest
In your sanctuary here on earth . . . . here on earth . . . .

Gospel Reading: Mark 7:1-23 (NLT)

One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating. (The Jews, especially the Pharisees, do not eat until they have poured water over their cupped hands, as required by their ancient traditions. Similarly, they don’t eat anything from the market until they immerse their hands in water. This is but one of many traditions they have clung to—such as their ceremonial washing of cups, pitchers, and kettles.

So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.”

Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,

‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’

For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.”

Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition. For instance, Moses gave you this law from God:

‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’

But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ In this way, you let them disregard their needy parents. And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others.”

Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand. It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.”

Then Jesus went into a house to get away from the crowd, and his disciples asked him what he meant by the parable he had just used. “Don’t you understand either?” he asked. “Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you? Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.)

And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”

Prayers of Intercession:

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord.

We pray especially –

+ For all church leaders, that their hearts may be conformed to your Word and Spirit, and that their lives might reflect it…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all believers, that that our secret sins may be exposed to the cleansing of your Word and Spirit, and that we may be forgiven and set free…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all believers, that our church traditions may not displace your Word and Spirit in shaping our worship, our faith,, and our practice…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all believers, that we may share food, clothing and shelter with the poor and needy among us in distress…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all our faith communities, that your presence may abide with us throughout the challenges of the coming year…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all those who have died in Christ, that they may live in your presence for ever and ever…. Lord, hear us.

God our creator, your love for your people has no end: hear our prayers and give us your supporting grace, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

“Build my life” – Housefires


Blessing – Ephesians 3:20-21

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Categories: Life in Christ

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