The Challenge of Faith

A reading for Thursday, July 30, 2015: Mark 7:1-23.

The challenge of our faith is to move beyond just what is seen by others to honor God in a significant, even transformational way. It requires humility, truth, and openness.

The Pharisees and the scribes believe they know all about faith in God. They have ritualized practice to a point in which they no longer even know why they do some of the things they do. Washing was not meant to be an identifier of who was holy and who was not, especially when what was being done in public was not reflective of the underlying heart. It was intended to demonstrate the purity and holiness of God. Jesus said, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition!"

It's not that ritual isn't important. Ritual is simply a way of embodying or making evident our commitment to God. In Reformed theology we way, "the visible sign of invisible grace."

Jesus calls us not just to empty ritual or public displays of faith, but to self-emptying honest devotion to God. It's easy to control what one eats, what goes in. How much harder is it to control what we say or how we act, what comes out?

But that means an honest assessment of who we are and what our commitments are. Can we see ourselves the way others see us? Can we see how God views our actions and our virtue? What is coming out of our human heart? Will we honestly align it with God's calling on our lives?

Then we are on the way to the transformation that God requires of us. This is the challenge of faith...


Popular Posts