July 5, 2014

matthew15-18

Ecclesiastes 5:8-20; Galatians 3:23-4:11; Matthew 15:1-20

Jesus finds himself being challenged again about the habits and behaviors of his disciples. This time concerning washing hands before meals. We stop our “dirty” work and “wash up” for dinner. The dirty work is the God-given assignment of taking care of creation. We stop and remember God’s gift of food and drink to sustain us in this holy, dirty work. “Washing up” is a way for us to present our bodies and our hearts in thanksgiving to God, a way to worship.

Sometimes when we work, we grumble about the work God has given us to do. We even find ways to convince ourselves it is not necessary, as the Pharisees did about caring for their parents—giving money instead. We are helping when we give our hard-earned money, but God needs our time and talents and caring hearts for his work. When we needed redeemed from our sinful lives, God did not send gold and silver. Instead, he came here among us and loved us. He spoke words of love, both law and gospel, both forgiveness and judgment—whatever was needed to draw us closer to the Father.

Prayer: Gracious Father, fill us with your grace that we may bring glory to your name as we live for you. Amen.

Today’s devotion was written by David Hefner,
Pastor of Shiloh Lutheran Church in Hickory, NC.

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