Our scripture lesson Sunday was Mark 7: 1-8, 14-15, 21-23. I posed a significant question that I heard discussed recently: Would you prefer a next-door neighbor, a good friend, your husband or wife, or your son or daughter to be persons of excellent habits or to have a good heart?
While it would certainly be preferable to have a neighbor who would respect your property while caring for their own and to have a friend who is courteous and a spouse who is gracious and a child who uses good manners--none of these can compare to having any one of these who have a good heart.
It has been said that when we discuss habits or behavior, we are discussing the quality of someone's self-control. When we discuss a good heart, we are discussing the quality of the person.
Our scripture shows the pharisees trying to catch Jesus out in this area. His disciples came in dirty and famished and forgot the ritual of hand washing--not hand washing for bacteria's sake, but hand washing for religious purity.
Have you ever seen people who could get really sticky over the RULES and forget the first rule--LOVE?
Tradition should not kill compassion, or creativity. . .
That is not to say that tradition, in and of itself, is bad. However, PEOPLE are the most important!
WWJD--What Would Jesus Do? Love one another. Love God with your heart, mind, and all your stength. Love your neighbor as yourself. . . .