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Daily Prayer - 2013-02-12

Presence

I bring myself into your presence, O God.
May I always take time to notice and enjoy
the beauty you have created
for my pleasure.

Freedom

By God's grace I was born to live in freedom,
free to enjoy the pleasures He created for me.
Dear Lord, grant that I may live as you intended,
with complete confidence in your loving care.

Consciousness

Dear Jesus may I always be aware of your presence,
Your power and your Love,
all the days of my life.

The Word of God

Mark 7:1-13

Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
“This people honours 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.’

Then he said to them, ‘You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, “Honour your father and your mother”; and, “Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.” But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, “Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban” (that is, an offering to God)— then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.’

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • A whole regime of external observances had grown up among the people – authorised by self-appointed religious experts; and persons could be judged religious or irreligious depending on how they ticked those ‘boxes’. These externals then began to be accorded the whole weight reserved for God’s own precepts for good living – for "the weightier matters of the law" (Matthew 23:23). The focus had shifted away from heartfelt acceptance of God’s demands – to religious ‘formalism’ as expressed in a vast range of customs and rituals.
  • Jesus was well aware of how some people could use lip service to an array of regulations as a means of avoiding any real commitment to God’s very own teaching and way which might go right to a person’s heart.

Conversation

Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God?
Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry?
Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me,
I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.

Conclusion

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.

Amen

If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.