Jesus said ‘what’?! 10.03.21

Order

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Opening Audio (10:15am)
Spotify - Not In A Hurry Radio


#1 ONE Video #1 (3:02)
Call to Worship
Hold On To Me				Lauren Daigle

Live/OnLine
Prayer						Rick
Music 1						Abbie & Billy
               Redeemed (Crosby & Kirkpatrick)
Story						Online-Kelly
						In Person-Linda
Music 2						Abbie & Billy
                Victory in Jesus (Bartlett)
Message    ‘Jesus said What?!?’		Rick
Music 3				                       Abbie & Billy
               Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (Lemmel)
Community					Rick
Benediction					Online-Kelly
						In Person-Linda
Sharing the Peace				Rick

Closing Audio
Spotify - Not In A Hurry Radio


Voices & Words


Prayer

God,
May we honor you in the practices of our faith.
May we glorify in the actions of our work.
May we respect you, and others, with the words of our mouths.
May we love you with our relationships and engagements.

God,
Reveal to us that which does not honor you.
Show us our actions that do not glorify you.
Confront us when our words do not reflect you.
Stop us when our relationships and engagements are not defined by love.

God,
Today we choose to listen for you.
Today we choose to look for you.
Today we choose to open our hearts to you.
Today we choose to willingly follow you.

God,
Today we ask that your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Amen.


Music 1

Redeemed
CCLI Song # 30622
Fanny Jane Crosby | William James Kirkpatrick
Verse 1
Redeemed how I love to proclaim it
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed thru His infinite mercy
His child and forever I am
Chorus
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
His child and forever I am
Verse 2
Redeemed and so happy in Jesus
No language my rapture can tell
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell
Chorus
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
His child and forever I am
Verse 3
I think of my blessed Redeemer
I think of Him all the day long
I sing for I cannot be silent
His love is the theme of my song
Chorus
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
His child and forever I am
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
His child and forever I am

Story 


If nothing else, Covid has taught to wash our hands. We have learned the necessity of washing hands before and after eating or preparing food; before and after caring for someone at home who is sick; before and after treating a cut or wound, before and after using the toilet, changing a diaper or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;  after touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste, and after handling pet food or pet treats, after touching garbage
That is exhausting, but it seems like most of that is common sense.
You would think, but it also seems like a lot of hand washing.
We haven’t just learned when we need to wash hands, we have also learned the ‘HOW’ of washing hands.  Wet your hands with clean, running water, turn off the tap, and apply soap; lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap, also lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails - scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds…
Or just sing Happy Birthday…..at regular speed, don’t cheat.
Then rinse hands underneath running water, then dry hands using a clean towel or air dry.
Shall we give the instructions on using hand sanitizer?
Maybe we could get a root canal instead.
A focus on hand washing is not new.
It would have come in handy in the 1300s during the Black Death plague.
Jesus actually confronted the religious leadership about their diligence and insistence regarding hand washing but what he said had a twist. They would harshly judge those who failed to wash their hands correctly and at the right times.
I don’t think that was about hygiene and germ transmission as much as it was about keeping their religious traditions.
The prophet Isaiah referred to it as ‘holding to heartless religious practices,’; Jesus said that they were actually abandoning God’s commandment and instead holding to their own religious legalities.’
They were really stuck on being clean. Or on judging others.
It is strange, washing hands is a good thing, but once we humans get ahold of it and make it a tradition or religious act it becomes unclean.
I’m sure that applies to a many areas outside of hand washing as well.
I’m sure you are right.


Music 2

Victory In Jesus
CCLI Song # 1259
Eugene M. Bartlett
Chorus
O victory in Jesus
My Savior forever
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood
Verse 1
I heard an old old story
How a Savior came from glory
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me
I heard about His groaning
Of His precious blood's atoning
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory
Chorus
O victory in Jesus
My Savior forever
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood
Verse 2
I heard about His healing
Of His cleansing pow'r revealing
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see
And then I cried dear Jesus
Come and heal my broken spirit
And somehow Jesus came and brought
To me the victory
Chorus
O victory in Jesus
My Savior forever
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood
Close
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood


Message        ‘Jesus Said What?!?’
It all began with unwashed hands, actually 12 pairs of unwashed hands. Ironically, it was not really about washing hands. The owners of these 12 pairs of hands had no idea their lack hygienic diligence would be the spark that would set Jesus on the ultimate path to Jerusalem and the cross. No one was to blame for this was Jesus’ purpose.

It was with no ill will that the religious leaders pointed out to Jesus that his followers were eating with unwashed hands. They were not being hateful, they were helping this young rabbi out with his rough edged followers.

‘Jesus’ followers didn’t  wash their hands.’ The leaders thought, ‘Let’s give him a hand, help him to raise his crew to acceptability.’

In describing Mark 7, Biblical Theology Professor at Princeton Theology Seminary C. Clifton Black, says this,

“If we, too, are not gobsmacked (by Mark 7), it’s a safe bet that we have domesticated Jesus and have neutered the gospel.”

Up to this point there had been no hostility between Jesus and the religious leaders. Jesus did have a run in back in Nazareth, but that was not really theological or practices, it was perceived as more personal  - this interchange, however, would soon be considered an assault on the religious institution and its practices. Jesus was speaking blunt truth, blunt truth is difficult to accept.

Back to hand washing, if there is anything we have learned from this pandemic it is that personal hygiene is a win-win for everyone. God had gifted the Hebrews with hygiene instructions for health reasons. Over time, however, these healthy habits became obligatory religious practices. Washing hands had ceased to be about washing hands and, instead, it was elevated to a human instituted religious action.

A good thing became a holy thing which became a legalistic thing, and ultimately a judging and condemning thing.
Jesus pointed out to the leaders that their holy hand washing had become more important than the actual commands. They had exchanged what was truly holy for that which was truly good, while turning what was good into something that was unholy.

Jesus explained it in a manner they leaders would understand and relate to by comparing it to the their ancestors prior to the exile,

“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.”
Mark 7:6-8

In this moment, Jesus makes a defining statement of purpose along with a confrontation of the religious establishment. Confronting the belief that people and other created things can make us unclean, whereas, Jesus’ proclaimed truth is that it is what we, in our heart, do with those things. Additionally, Jesus was leading them into the messy world of where the deliverer would not only associate with people considered unclean, but worse, the deliver who would allow himself to die in an undignified, messy, manner as the the cross.

Think for a moment of all the things we automatically blame for our sin. The externals that we point to when explaining our sinful world. We blame the media, the atheists, the conservatives, the liberals, the entertainers, the politicians, educators, scientists, and more ultimately we blame Satan - none of these things have the power to defile us. We can only be defiled when we permit to internally defile us. Therefore, washing hands is good hygiene but it is not a sound faith practice.
Next, a gentile woman approached Jesus begging him to heal her daughter. Jesus response was to say that he came to earth for the Israelites, not the ‘Dog’ gentiles.

Jesus referred to the woman, her daughter, and her people as ’Dogs’.  A Dog?! Did Jesus really say that? This was as offensive as any word we have in our forbidden vocabulary. The very saying of it was an assault on the worth and importance of more than half the population of God’s creation. A Dog?! What made it more offensive is that this form of the word spoke of a house dog, a pet, not a human.

There are two primary theories regarding Jesus’ offensive response.

Let’s start with the less squirmy one - Jesus was intentionally reflecting the attitudes, opinions, racism, prejudices present in the hearts of the listeners, including his own disciples. This attitude of scorn and superiority towards this Samaritan woman would have been ingrained in the minds and attitude of the listeners. ‘Dog’ could have easily been a racist slur that rolled of children’s lips from a very young age. It is possible that no one even gave the perceived connotations of this word a second thought. Much like the ’N’ word, it was consider to be just another way to identify a person. However, if you were a Samaritan or a gentile it carried much baggage and pain - it was brutally offensive. To the Samaritan it was a reminder of her ancestral history, of the extensive generational persecution, and the lifetime of dismissal.

The second theory and more uncomfortable theory is, and I will pose this in the form of a question ‘What if this was actually a pivotal human moment in the life of Jesus?’ Meaning, what if, Jesus too, grew up in an atmosphere, and then was affirmed by his community, where this type of word was unnoticed? What if using this word did not carry the meaning to Jesus that it carried for the Samaritan woman? What if this was a moment for God in the flesh to live out the human experience of accepting confrontation and correction? And in doing so, exampling it to all of us, and, letting us see that racism is sin (as is true with any sin) once we are enlightened. What if this story is really about our confrontation response to responses such as ‘I am not a racist, my words are not racists, my grandad taught me those words and grandad was not a racist!’ Or, ‘how can anyone keep up with all the things that are NOW offensive?’

What if God is gifting us our own version of the law to make us aware of the pain we cause, of the creation of sin inside of us? What if this is another example of a heartless faith that has little regard for the greatest commandment - Love God and Love Others? What if our acceptance or rejection of these moments of correction is our opportunity for repentance and to change?

Both theories teach us that stubborn pride keeps us from growing and maturing in our faith.

Both theories tell us that judging and dismissing any people or persons as ‘less than us’ is sinful the minute it is pointed out.
Both theories reveal that Jesus’ journeyed in times similar to ours, times of racism, judgement, and condemnation. We refuse to look further than our own discomfort,  disagreement, or disdain. What if a black athlete kneeling during the national anthem is God giving us a gift revealing the judgement in our heart. What if the BLM rally in the park is God nudging us into recognizing the pain inflicted on others for generations?

What does it say when we critique and criticize instead of leaning into the possibility that God is giving us a chance to change, to repent. Giving us a chance to clear the log jam out of our path so we can continue to grow in our relationship with him.

Both theories call us to holiness. Both theories have closure with the response of the woman. The woman does not argue that she is, or is not, a ‘dog’, but, instead, her counter response is a recognition of her faith based on the grace of God - ‘even the dogs under the table get to eat the crumbs that are dropped to the floor. God loves all, ‘even though we may not be the chosen people, we are loved by our creator nonetheless.’
The woman had an amazing faith because she knew it was not about her. It was not about her label or status, it was not what others thought of her, it was not about worth. It was totally about God is. She approached Jesus in perfect bulldog humility. She was not worthy but she knew that her worth was not a factor to God.

Mark 7, along with Matthew 15, depicts Jesus as an an equal opportunity offender, there is something for all followers of Christ to be made uncomfortable. C. Clifton Black continues his earlier comments by adding,

“Jesus’ offensiveness is a fact we must face. A conservative congregation will be affronted by Jesus’ claim that defilement comes from within, not from without. Liberal Christians resist the notion that a socially progressive Jesus would say what Mark ascribes to (Jesus) or, worse, that the Gentile so insulted would accept (Jesus’) slur. The deeper question is whether we can follow a Christ so repulsive as to die by crucifixion. Jesus flummoxes (perplexes) everyone who boxes him into conventional expectations: the pious, his family, his disciples, and even some petitioners.”
C. Clifton Black
Biblical Theology Professor, Princeton Theology Seminary

Mark 7 is not a teaching on racism, nor is it a confrontation of religion. It is the truth that God has given us through the pandemic - humility. We are not the center of the universe, nor are we the center of humanity. We are circling truth, sometime uncomfortable truth, just like everyone else that God has created and loves. It is a lesson of love that leads us to sacrifice, to care, to notice what our inside is saying.
King David got ahold of this truth, he realized that there were things in his own heart, seen in his own life, that were unholy, things that hurt others - things that he had no idea were there. He didn’t pridefully protect his ground, nor did he set out to prove that he was perfect, instead he said to God,

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139:23-24

Here is the important part, King David, after saying this, then, he listened. It is then that we truly allow the message of Christ to work in us.

Let’s pray.


Music 3

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
CCLI Song # 15960
Helen H. Lemmel
Verse 1
O soul are you weary and troubled
No light in the darkness you see
There's light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free
Chorus
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Verse 2
Through death into life everlasting
He passed and we follow Him there
Over us sin no more hath dominion
For more than conquerors we are
Chorus
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Close
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
 
Community
Community
Work Day Ammended Thanks
hin·nê·nî  (Here I Am) - Bible Studies begins This Thursday
Next Sunday - ‘the impenetrable power of me’
Covid Update/Thanks
    
Benediction Blessing

May we go from here and honor God with our hearts.
May we go from here and honor God also with our lips.
May our worship of God be heart, mind, and soul.
May we settle for nothing less than truth.
May God, who knows our hearts and thoughts, test us.
May God, reveal to us what is found.
May we willingly listen to discovered.
May we go from here willingly led by God to life.


Closing Peace

May God’s grace, peace, joy, love, and hope go with you.

And also with you.

Go in grace, peace, joy, love, hope.Order


Sunday, October 3, 2021


Opening Audio (10:15am)
Spotify - Not In A Hurry Radio


#1 ONE Video #1 (3:02)
Call to Worship
Hold On To Me                                       Lauren Daigle


Live/OnLine
Prayer                                                       Rick
Music 1                                                      Abbie & Billy
               Redeemed                                Crosby & Kirkpatrick
Story                                                         Online-Kelly
                                                                   In Person-Linda
Music 2                                                      Abbie & Billy
                Victory in Jesus                         Bartlett
Message    ‘Jesus said What?!?’               Rick
Music 3                                                       Abbie & Billy
               Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus        Lemmel
Community                                                 Rick
Benediction                                                Online-Kelly
                                                                       In Person-Linda
Sharing the Peace                                        Rick


Closing Audio
Spotify - Not In A Hurry Radio


Voices & Words


Prayer

God,
May we honor you in the practices of our faith.
May we glorify in the actions of our work.
May we respect you, and others, with the words of our mouths.
May we love you with our relationships and engagements.

God,
Reveal to us that which does not honor you.
Show us our actions that do not glorify you.
Confront us when our words do not reflect you.
Stop us when our relationships and engagements are not defined by love.

God,
Today we choose to listen for you.
Today we choose to look for you.
Today we choose to open our hearts to you.
Today we choose to willingly follow you.

God,
Today we ask that your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Amen.


Music 1

Redeemed
CCLI Song # 30622
Fanny Jane Crosby | William James Kirkpatrick
Verse 1
Redeemed how I love to proclaim it
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed thru His infinite mercy
His child and forever I am
Chorus
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
His child and forever I am
Verse 2
Redeemed and so happy in Jesus
No language my rapture can tell
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell
Chorus
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
His child and forever I am
Verse 3
I think of my blessed Redeemer
I think of Him all the day long
I sing for I cannot be silent
His love is the theme of my song
Chorus
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
His child and forever I am
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
His child and forever I am

Story 


If nothing else, Covid has taught to wash our hands. We have learned the necessity of washing hands before and after eating or preparing food; before and after caring for someone at home who is sick; before and after treating a cut or wound, before and after using the toilet, changing a diaper or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;  after touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste, and after handling pet food or pet treats, after touching garbage
That is exhausting, but it seems like most of that is common sense.
You would think, but it also seems like a lot of hand washing.
We haven’t just learned when we need to wash hands, we have also learned the ‘HOW’ of washing hands.  Wet your hands with clean, running water, turn off the tap, and apply soap; lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap, also lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails - scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds…
Or just sing Happy Birthday…..at regular speed, don’t cheat.
Then rinse hands underneath running water, then dry hands using a clean towel or air dry.
Shall we give the instructions on using hand sanitizer?
Maybe we could get a root canal instead.
A focus on hand washing is not new.
It would have come in handy in the 1300s during the Black Death plague.
Jesus actually confronted the religious leadership about their diligence and insistence regarding hand washing but what he said had a twist. They would harshly judge those who failed to wash their hands correctly and at the right times.
I don’t think that was about hygiene and germ transmission as much as it was about keeping their religious traditions.
The prophet Isaiah referred to it as ‘holding to heartless religious practices,’; Jesus said that they were actually abandoning God’s commandment and instead holding to their own religious legalities.’
They were really stuck on being clean. Or on judging others.
It is strange, washing hands is a good thing, but once we humans get ahold of it and make it a tradition or religious act it becomes unclean.
I’m sure that applies to a many areas outside of hand washing as well.
I’m sure you are right.


Music 2

Victory In Jesus
CCLI Song # 1259
Eugene M. Bartlett
Chorus
O victory in Jesus
My Savior forever
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood
Verse 1
I heard an old old story
How a Savior came from glory
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me
I heard about His groaning
Of His precious blood's atoning
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory
Chorus
O victory in Jesus
My Savior forever
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood
Verse 2
I heard about His healing
Of His cleansing pow'r revealing
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see
And then I cried dear Jesus
Come and heal my broken spirit
And somehow Jesus came and brought
To me the victory
Chorus
O victory in Jesus
My Savior forever
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood
Close
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood


Message        ‘Jesus Said What?!?’
It all began with unwashed hands, actually 12 pairs of unwashed hands. Ironically, it was not really about washing hands. The owners of these 12 pairs of hands had no idea their lack hygienic diligence would be the spark that would set Jesus on the ultimate path to Jerusalem and the cross. No one was to blame for this was Jesus’ purpose.

It was with no ill will that the religious leaders pointed out to Jesus that his followers were eating with unwashed hands. They were not being hateful, they were helping this young rabbi out with his rough edged followers.

‘Jesus’ followers didn’t  wash their hands.’ The leaders thought, ‘Let’s give him a hand, help him to raise his crew to acceptability.’

In describing Mark 7, Biblical Theology Professor at Princeton Theology Seminary C. Clifton Black, says this,

“If we, too, are not gobsmacked (by Mark 7), it’s a safe bet that we have domesticated Jesus and have neutered the gospel.”

Up to this point there had been no hostility between Jesus and the religious leaders. Jesus did have a run in back in Nazareth, but that was not really theological or practices, it was perceived as more personal  - this interchange, however, would soon be considered an assault on the religious institution and its practices. Jesus was speaking blunt truth, blunt truth is difficult to accept.

Back to hand washing, if there is anything we have learned from this pandemic it is that personal hygiene is a win-win for everyone. God had gifted the Hebrews with hygiene instructions for health reasons. Over time, however, these healthy habits became obligatory religious practices. Washing hands had ceased to be about washing hands and, instead, it was elevated to a human instituted religious action.

A good thing became a holy thing which became a legalistic thing, and ultimately a judging and condemning thing.
Jesus pointed out to the leaders that their holy hand washing had become more important than the actual commands. They had exchanged what was truly holy for that which was truly good, while turning what was good into something that was unholy.

Jesus explained it in a manner they leaders would understand and relate to by comparing it to the their ancestors prior to the exile,

“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.”
Mark 7:6-8

In this moment, Jesus makes a defining statement of purpose along with a confrontation of the religious establishment. Confronting the belief that people and other created things can make us unclean, whereas, Jesus’ proclaimed truth is that it is what we, in our heart, do with those things. Additionally, Jesus was leading them into the messy world of where the deliverer would not only associate with people considered unclean, but worse, the deliver who would allow himself to die in an undignified, messy, manner as the the cross.

Think for a moment of all the things we automatically blame for our sin. The externals that we point to when explaining our sinful world. We blame the media, the atheists, the conservatives, the liberals, the entertainers, the politicians, educators, scientists, and more ultimately we blame Satan - none of these things have the power to defile us. We can only be defiled when we permit to internally defile us. Therefore, washing hands is good hygiene but it is not a sound faith practice.
Next, a gentile woman approached Jesus begging him to heal her daughter. Jesus response was to say that he came to earth for the Israelites, not the ‘Dog’ gentiles.

Jesus referred to the woman, her daughter, and her people as ’Dogs’.  A Dog?! Did Jesus really say that? This was as offensive as any word we have in our forbidden vocabulary. The very saying of it was an assault on the worth and importance of more than half the population of God’s creation. A Dog?! What made it more offensive is that this form of the word spoke of a house dog, a pet, not a human.

There are two primary theories regarding Jesus’ offensive response.

Let’s start with the less squirmy one - Jesus was intentionally reflecting the attitudes, opinions, racism, prejudices present in the hearts of the listeners, including his own disciples. This attitude of scorn and superiority towards this Samaritan woman would have been ingrained in the minds and attitude of the listeners. ‘Dog’ could have easily been a racist slur that rolled of children’s lips from a very young age. It is possible that no one even gave the perceived connotations of this word a second thought. Much like the ’N’ word, it was consider to be just another way to identify a person. However, if you were a Samaritan or a gentile it carried much baggage and pain - it was brutally offensive. To the Samaritan it was a reminder of her ancestral history, of the extensive generational persecution, and the lifetime of dismissal.

The second theory and more uncomfortable theory is, and I will pose this in the form of a question ‘What if this was actually a pivotal human moment in the life of Jesus?’ Meaning, what if, Jesus too, grew up in an atmosphere, and then was affirmed by his community, where this type of word was unnoticed? What if using this word did not carry the meaning to Jesus that it carried for the Samaritan woman? What if this was a moment for God in the flesh to live out the human experience of accepting confrontation and correction? And in doing so, exampling it to all of us, and, letting us see that racism is sin (as is true with any sin) once we are enlightened. What if this story is really about our confrontation response to responses such as ‘I am not a racist, my words are not racists, my grandad taught me those words and grandad was not a racist!’ Or, ‘how can anyone keep up with all the things that are NOW offensive?’

What if God is gifting us our own version of the law to make us aware of the pain we cause, of the creation of sin inside of us? What if this is another example of a heartless faith that has little regard for the greatest commandment - Love God and Love Others? What if our acceptance or rejection of these moments of correction is our opportunity for repentance and to change?

Both theories teach us that stubborn pride keeps us from growing and maturing in our faith.

Both theories tell us that judging and dismissing any people or persons as ‘less than us’ is sinful the minute it is pointed out.
Both theories reveal that Jesus’ journeyed in times similar to ours, times of racism, judgement, and condemnation. We refuse to look further than our own discomfort,  disagreement, or disdain. What if a black athlete kneeling during the national anthem is God giving us a gift revealing the judgement in our heart. What if the BLM rally in the park is God nudging us into recognizing the pain inflicted on others for generations?

What does it say when we critique and criticize instead of leaning into the possibility that God is giving us a chance to change, to repent. Giving us a chance to clear the log jam out of our path so we can continue to grow in our relationship with him.

Both theories call us to holiness. Both theories have closure with the response of the woman. The woman does not argue that she is, or is not, a ‘dog’, but, instead, her counter response is a recognition of her faith based on the grace of God - ‘even the dogs under the table get to eat the crumbs that are dropped to the floor. God loves all, ‘even though we may not be the chosen people, we are loved by our creator nonetheless.’
The woman had an amazing faith because she knew it was not about her. It was not about her label or status, it was not what others thought of her, it was not about worth. It was totally about God is. She approached Jesus in perfect bulldog humility. She was not worthy but she knew that her worth was not a factor to God.

Mark 7, along with Matthew 15, depicts Jesus as an an equal opportunity offender, there is something for all followers of Christ to be made uncomfortable. C. Clifton Black continues his earlier comments by adding,

“Jesus’ offensiveness is a fact we must face. A conservative congregation will be affronted by Jesus’ claim that defilement comes from within, not from without. Liberal Christians resist the notion that a socially progressive Jesus would say what Mark ascribes to (Jesus) or, worse, that the Gentile so insulted would accept (Jesus’) slur. The deeper question is whether we can follow a Christ so repulsive as to die by crucifixion. Jesus flummoxes (perplexes) everyone who boxes him into conventional expectations: the pious, his family, his disciples, and even some petitioners.”
C. Clifton Black
Biblical Theology Professor, Princeton Theology Seminary

Mark 7 is not a teaching on racism, nor is it a confrontation of religion. It is the truth that God has given us through the pandemic - humility. We are not the center of the universe, nor are we the center of humanity. We are circling truth, sometime uncomfortable truth, just like everyone else that God has created and loves. It is a lesson of love that leads us to sacrifice, to care, to notice what our inside is saying.
King David got ahold of this truth, he realized that there were things in his own heart, seen in his own life, that were unholy, things that hurt others - things that he had no idea were there. He didn’t pridefully protect his ground, nor did he set out to prove that he was perfect, instead he said to God,

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139:23-24

Here is the important part, King David, after saying this, then, he listened. It is then that we truly allow the message of Christ to work in us.

Let’s pray.


Music 3

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
CCLI Song # 15960
Helen H. Lemmel
Verse 1
O soul are you weary and troubled
No light in the darkness you see
There's light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free
Chorus
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Verse 2
Through death into life everlasting
He passed and we follow Him there
Over us sin no more hath dominion
For more than conquerors we are
Chorus
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Close
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
 
Community
Community
Work Day Ammended Thanks
hin·nê·nî  (Here I Am) - Bible Studies begins This Thursday
Next Sunday - ‘the impenetrable power of me’
Covid Update/Thanks
    
Benediction Blessing

May we go from here and honor God with our hearts.
May we go from here and honor God also with our lips.
May our worship of God be heart, mind, and soul.
May we settle for nothing less than truth.
May God, who knows our hearts and thoughts, test us.
May God, reveal to us what is found.
May we willingly listen to discovered.
May we go from here willingly led by God to life.


Closing Peace

May God’s grace, peace, joy, love, and hope go with you.

And also with you.

Go in grace, peace, joy, love, hope.


Live/OnLine
Prayer                                                       Rick
Music 1                                                      Abbie & Billy
               Redeemed                                Crosby & Kirkpatrick
Story                                                         Online-Kelly
                                                                   In Person-Linda
Music 2                                                      Abbie & Billy
                Victory in Jesus                         Bartlett
Message    ‘Jesus said What?!?’               Rick
Music 3                                                       Abbie & Billy
               Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus        Lemmel
Community                                                 Rick
Benediction                                                Online-Kelly
                                                                       In Person-Linda
Sharing the Peace                                        Rick


Closing Audio
Spotify - Not In A Hurry Radio


Voices & Words


Prayer

God,
May we honor you in the practices of our faith.
May we glorify in the actions of our work.
May we respect you, and others, with the words of our mouths.
May we love you with our relationships and engagements.

God,
Reveal to us that which does not honor you.
Show us our actions that do not glorify you.
Confront us when our words do not reflect you.
Stop us when our relationships and engagements are not defined by love.

God,
Today we choose to listen for you.
Today we choose to look for you.
Today we choose to open our hearts to you.
Today we choose to willingly follow you.

God,
Today we ask that your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Amen.


Music 1

Redeemed
CCLI Song # 30622
Fanny Jane Crosby | William James Kirkpatrick
Verse 1
Redeemed how I love to proclaim it
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed thru His infinite mercy
His child and forever I am
Chorus
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
His child and forever I am
Verse 2
Redeemed and so happy in Jesus
No language my rapture can tell
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell
Chorus
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
His child and forever I am
Verse 3
I think of my blessed Redeemer
I think of Him all the day long
I sing for I cannot be silent
His love is the theme of my song
Chorus
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
His child and forever I am
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed (redeemed) redeemed (redeemed)
His child and forever I am

Story 


If nothing else, Covid has taught to wash our hands. We have learned the necessity of washing hands before and after eating or preparing food; before and after caring for someone at home who is sick; before and after treating a cut or wound, before and after using the toilet, changing a diaper or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;  after touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste, and after handling pet food or pet treats, after touching garbage
That is exhausting, but it seems like most of that is common sense.
You would think, but it also seems like a lot of hand washing.
We haven’t just learned when we need to wash hands, we have also learned the ‘HOW’ of washing hands.  Wet your hands with clean, running water, turn off the tap, and apply soap; lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap, also lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails - scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds…
Or just sing Happy Birthday…..at regular speed, don’t cheat.
Then rinse hands underneath running water, then dry hands using a clean towel or air dry.
Shall we give the instructions on using hand sanitizer?
Maybe we could get a root canal instead.
A focus on hand washing is not new.
It would have come in handy in the 1300s during the Black Death plague.
Jesus actually confronted the religious leadership about their diligence and insistence regarding hand washing but what he said had a twist. They would harshly judge those who failed to wash their hands correctly and at the right times.
I don’t think that was about hygiene and germ transmission as much as it was about keeping their religious traditions.
The prophet Isaiah referred to it as ‘holding to heartless religious practices,’; Jesus said that they were actually abandoning God’s commandment and instead holding to their own religious legalities.’
They were really stuck on being clean. Or on judging others.
It is strange, washing hands is a good thing, but once we humans get ahold of it and make it a tradition or religious act it becomes unclean.
I’m sure that applies to a many areas outside of hand washing as well.
I’m sure you are right.


Music 2

Victory In Jesus
CCLI Song # 1259
Eugene M. Bartlett
Chorus
O victory in Jesus
My Savior forever
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood
Verse 1
I heard an old old story
How a Savior came from glory
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me
I heard about His groaning
Of His precious blood's atoning
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory
Chorus
O victory in Jesus
My Savior forever
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood
Verse 2
I heard about His healing
Of His cleansing pow'r revealing
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see
And then I cried dear Jesus
Come and heal my broken spirit
And somehow Jesus came and brought
To me the victory
Chorus
O victory in Jesus
My Savior forever
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood
Close
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood


Message        ‘Jesus Said What?!?’
It all began with unwashed hands, actually 12 pairs of unwashed hands. Ironically, it was not really about washing hands. The owners of these 12 pairs of hands had no idea their lack hygienic diligence would be the spark that would set Jesus on the ultimate path to Jerusalem and the cross. No one was to blame for this was Jesus’ purpose.

It was with no ill will that the religious leaders pointed out to Jesus that his followers were eating with unwashed hands. They were not being hateful, they were helping this young rabbi out with his rough edged followers.

‘Jesus’ followers didn’t  wash their hands.’ The leaders thought, ‘Let’s give him a hand, help him to raise his crew to acceptability.’

In describing Mark 7, Biblical Theology Professor at Princeton Theology Seminary C. Clifton Black, says this,

“If we, too, are not gobsmacked (by Mark 7), it’s a safe bet that we have domesticated Jesus and have neutered the gospel.”

Up to this point there had been no hostility between Jesus and the religious leaders. Jesus did have a run in back in Nazareth, but that was not really theological or practices, it was perceived as more personal  - this interchange, however, would soon be considered an assault on the religious institution and its practices. Jesus was speaking blunt truth, blunt truth is difficult to accept.

Back to hand washing, if there is anything we have learned from this pandemic it is that personal hygiene is a win-win for everyone. God had gifted the Hebrews with hygiene instructions for health reasons. Over time, however, these healthy habits became obligatory religious practices. Washing hands had ceased to be about washing hands and, instead, it was elevated to a human instituted religious action.

A good thing became a holy thing which became a legalistic thing, and ultimately a judging and condemning thing.
Jesus pointed out to the leaders that their holy hand washing had become more important than the actual commands. They had exchanged what was truly holy for that which was truly good, while turning what was good into something that was unholy.

Jesus explained it in a manner they leaders would understand and relate to by comparing it to the their ancestors prior to the exile,

“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.”
Mark 7:6-8

In this moment, Jesus makes a defining statement of purpose along with a confrontation of the religious establishment. Confronting the belief that people and other created things can make us unclean, whereas, Jesus’ proclaimed truth is that it is what we, in our heart, do with those things. Additionally, Jesus was leading them into the messy world of where the deliverer would not only associate with people considered unclean, but worse, the deliver who would allow himself to die in an undignified, messy, manner as the the cross.

Think for a moment of all the things we automatically blame for our sin. The externals that we point to when explaining our sinful world. We blame the media, the atheists, the conservatives, the liberals, the entertainers, the politicians, educators, scientists, and more ultimately we blame Satan - none of these things have the power to defile us. We can only be defiled when we permit to internally defile us. Therefore, washing hands is good hygiene but it is not a sound faith practice.
Next, a gentile woman approached Jesus begging him to heal her daughter. Jesus response was to say that he came to earth for the Israelites, not the ‘Dog’ gentiles.

Jesus referred to the woman, her daughter, and her people as ’Dogs’.  A Dog?! Did Jesus really say that? This was as offensive as any word we have in our forbidden vocabulary. The very saying of it was an assault on the worth and importance of more than half the population of God’s creation. A Dog?! What made it more offensive is that this form of the word spoke of a house dog, a pet, not a human.

There are two primary theories regarding Jesus’ offensive response.

Let’s start with the less squirmy one - Jesus was intentionally reflecting the attitudes, opinions, racism, prejudices present in the hearts of the listeners, including his own disciples. This attitude of scorn and superiority towards this Samaritan woman would have been ingrained in the minds and attitude of the listeners. ‘Dog’ could have easily been a racist slur that rolled of children’s lips from a very young age. It is possible that no one even gave the perceived connotations of this word a second thought. Much like the ’N’ word, it was consider to be just another way to identify a person. However, if you were a Samaritan or a gentile it carried much baggage and pain - it was brutally offensive. To the Samaritan it was a reminder of her ancestral history, of the extensive generational persecution, and the lifetime of dismissal.

The second theory and more uncomfortable theory is, and I will pose this in the form of a question ‘What if this was actually a pivotal human moment in the life of Jesus?’ Meaning, what if, Jesus too, grew up in an atmosphere, and then was affirmed by his community, where this type of word was unnoticed? What if using this word did not carry the meaning to Jesus that it carried for the Samaritan woman? What if this was a moment for God in the flesh to live out the human experience of accepting confrontation and correction? And in doing so, exampling it to all of us, and, letting us see that racism is sin (as is true with any sin) once we are enlightened. What if this story is really about our confrontation response to responses such as ‘I am not a racist, my words are not racists, my grandad taught me those words and grandad was not a racist!’ Or, ‘how can anyone keep up with all the things that are NOW offensive?’

What if God is gifting us our own version of the law to make us aware of the pain we cause, of the creation of sin inside of us? What if this is another example of a heartless faith that has little regard for the greatest commandment - Love God and Love Others? What if our acceptance or rejection of these moments of correction is our opportunity for repentance and to change?

Both theories teach us that stubborn pride keeps us from growing and maturing in our faith.

Both theories tell us that judging and dismissing any people or persons as ‘less than us’ is sinful the minute it is pointed out.
Both theories reveal that Jesus’ journeyed in times similar to ours, times of racism, judgement, and condemnation. We refuse to look further than our own discomfort,  disagreement, or disdain. What if a black athlete kneeling during the national anthem is God giving us a gift revealing the judgement in our heart. What if the BLM rally in the park is God nudging us into recognizing the pain inflicted on others for generations?

What does it say when we critique and criticize instead of leaning into the possibility that God is giving us a chance to change, to repent. Giving us a chance to clear the log jam out of our path so we can continue to grow in our relationship with him.

Both theories call us to holiness. Both theories have closure with the response of the woman. The woman does not argue that she is, or is not, a ‘dog’, but, instead, her counter response is a recognition of her faith based on the grace of God - ‘even the dogs under the table get to eat the crumbs that are dropped to the floor. God loves all, ‘even though we may not be the chosen people, we are loved by our creator nonetheless.’
The woman had an amazing faith because she knew it was not about her. It was not about her label or status, it was not what others thought of her, it was not about worth. It was totally about God is. She approached Jesus in perfect bulldog humility. She was not worthy but she knew that her worth was not a factor to God.

Mark 7, along with Matthew 15, depicts Jesus as an an equal opportunity offender, there is something for all followers of Christ to be made uncomfortable. C. Clifton Black continues his earlier comments by adding,

“Jesus’ offensiveness is a fact we must face. A conservative congregation will be affronted by Jesus’ claim that defilement comes from within, not from without. Liberal Christians resist the notion that a socially progressive Jesus would say what Mark ascribes to (Jesus) or, worse, that the Gentile so insulted would accept (Jesus’) slur. The deeper question is whether we can follow a Christ so repulsive as to die by crucifixion. Jesus flummoxes (perplexes) everyone who boxes him into conventional expectations: the pious, his family, his disciples, and even some petitioners.”
C. Clifton Black
Biblical Theology Professor, Princeton Theology Seminary

Mark 7 is not a teaching on racism, nor is it a confrontation of religion. It is the truth that God has given us through the pandemic - humility. We are not the center of the universe, nor are we the center of humanity. We are circling truth, sometime uncomfortable truth, just like everyone else that God has created and loves. It is a lesson of love that leads us to sacrifice, to care, to notice what our inside is saying.
King David got ahold of this truth, he realized that there were things in his own heart, seen in his own life, that were unholy, things that hurt others - things that he had no idea were there. He didn’t pridefully protect his ground, nor did he set out to prove that he was perfect, instead he said to God,

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139:23-24

Here is the important part, King David, after saying this, then, he listened. It is then that we truly allow the message of Christ to work in us.

Let’s pray.


Music 3

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
CCLI Song # 15960
Helen H. Lemmel
Verse 1
O soul are you weary and troubled
No light in the darkness you see
There's light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free
Chorus
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Verse 2
Through death into life everlasting
He passed and we follow Him there
Over us sin no more hath dominion
For more than conquerors we are
Chorus
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Close
And the things of earth
Will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
 
Community
Community
Work Day Ammended Thanks
hin·nê·nî  (Here I Am) - Bible Studies begins This Thursday
Next Sunday - ‘the impenetrable power of me’
Covid Update/Thanks
    
Benediction Blessing

May we go from here and honor God with our hearts.
May we go from here and honor God also with our lips.
May our worship of God be heart, mind, and soul.
May we settle for nothing less than truth.
May God, who knows our hearts and thoughts, test us.
May God, reveal to us what is found.
May we willingly listen to discovered.
May we go from here willingly led by God to life.


Closing Peace

May God’s grace, peace, joy, love, and hope go with you.

And also with you.

Go in grace, peace, joy, love, hope.

Published by rickanthony1993

Husband of Andrea, Father of five, pastor of Grace Fellowship Norman OK.

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