Prayer: Lord, speak to me that I may speak caringly of my neighbor.
Reading: Matt. 15:10-20 (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: We continue today looking at this summer’s curriculum, “La Frontera.” In February we are looking at Day 2, which focuses on the story of the Good Samaritan. Neighbors are those in need. Today’s text is an alternate story for the day.
There is a lot of emphasis in our lives about what we put into our mouths. Sodas are mostly sugar and not good for you. Pasta is a lot of carbohydrate which turns to sugar. Keep eating it, you’ll gain weight! Etc., etc., etc.
Jesus encourages us to consider what comes out of our mouths. This is what defiles. What does that have to do with loving my neighbor—the one in need? A lot, I think. Too often we say nasty things. When we do the neighbor listening for a kind word is discouraged. Sometimes we thoughtlessly offend folks. When we do the neighbor listening for affirmation is belittled. Sometimes we speak about only ourselves. When we do the neighbor hoping to be included is put off. Sometimes we just speak, and speak and speak. When we do the neighbor who wants to share something personal is silenced. And all that which comes out of our mouths defiles the relationship we have with our neighbor.
Jesus meets us in our neighbor in need. Let us speak well of one another. --Jim Bricker
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