Every Sunday I am testing another different hand-sanitiser as I step into a Church building. We are rightly wanting to make sure people are clean when they come in. We don’t seem to be too bothered on their way out but coming in is different. We need to protect everyone from the virus.
Remember how we have been reading about the ‘lifting up of hands’? Jesus was challenging the Pharisees teaching regarding the dietary laws and their desire to protect the purity of the people.
Jesus has told a parable and Peter speaks on behalf of the whole team. They haven’t fully understood.
“Peter said, ‘Explain the parable to us.’ ‘Are you still so dull?’ Jesus asked them. ‘Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts – murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” (Matthew 15 v 15-20)
What needed cleansing and healing wasn’t a person’s hands or mouth but their heart.
You can have ceremonially clean hands but a defiled heart. So what good is that?
A person can look great and acceptable on the outside but if the heart is bad then it is all a façade.
Your profile picture may look sharp but it is your texts and statuses that follow that count.
So don’t let people burden you with guilt and shame for something you are or are not doing, these are attacks from the outside and are burdensome.
But Jesus cleanses hearts today, the place where sinful practices are born.
The greatest need in the Church today is heart-sanitiser not to get into the Church but for the Church as it moves into the world.