Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on February 6, 2013.
Prayer: As we go through life’s journey, guide us to have clean hearts, minds, and words. Thank you, Lord. Amen.
Reading: Psalm 24: 4-8; Matthew 15: 1-20 (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: Being human is tough. Being a Christian is even tougher. Becoming a Christian is an easy thing to do, but living a Christ-like life is tougher.
I've found that sometimes words can get you in trouble. I know I often have said things to people that I regret later. Often I say something for humorous effect and not think about how it might hurt someone. In this passage in Matthew, Jesus says that what comes from the mouth comes from the heart. And out of the heart can come some pretty evil things.
Sometimes we know what is right from wrong. But even though we know what we should or should not be doing, we do it anyway. Other forces in our lives take hold and lead us in the wrong manner. How can we prevent that from happening?
Perhaps we need to let the Holy Spirit lead our lives. We need to plan ahead and ask God for peace and self-control. We need to put our trust in the Lord and ask for help before we let unclean hearts control our actions. Try it. I bet you will like the results. --Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
Closing: Discuss with others or meditate on this quote: "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." (Mother Theresa)
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