Prayer: Heavenly Father, help our hearts and minds to be set on you so that our words and actions may be for your glory. Amen.
Reading: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Every youth group I start with lighting a candle and distributing bread to show that our time together is lit by Christ and that we gather around Christ's table in all that we do at youth group. Last week we had a sleep over at the church and the youth demanded that I start our time together with lighting a candle and eating bread before we do anything else. It was wonderful as a leader to see the practices that I was trying to instill in others actually taking hold. The youth love this practice and never want to miss it. My hope however is that it doesn't become a meaning less tradition.
That's what Jesus is facing in gospel of Mark. The Pharisees and the scribes are accusing the disciples of not practicing Jewish law. These are laws that were good and useful, we still use some of them today! "Wash your hands before dinner," a usual chorus from parents. But the Pharisees and scribes were doing the traditions for the wrong reasons, so they could show that they were holier than everyone else, not to glorify God.
How are your traditions in your church or faith life glorifying God? If they aren't glorifying God, would you know that they aren't? How can they change so that God may be glorified? --Peter Horn, Camp Mount Luther Board Member and Summer Camp Pastor
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