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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for August 1, 2019

We post a Forward Day by Day Meditation for every day of the year - and we invite you to consider them and talk about them here. If you'd like to comment, you can log in to Disqus with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account; just click "Login," or the appropriate logo below. Or, you can sign up for a Disqus account; just use the entry form below, or click the "D" logo to start the process. You can find the past week's Meditations in the box at right (or below, for mobile users), or search for previous entries on the Archives page. You can also listen to the Forward Day by Day podcast anywhere you find podcasts!

THURSDAY, August 1

Mark 7:17-19 When [Jesus] had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. He said to them, “Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?”

One of the great failings of Christianity is the way we domesticate Jesus. We would do well to remember that Jesus is a guy who has a tantrum in the temple, curses a fig tree, and uses human bodily functions as object lessons. It’s tempting to gloss over this side of Jesus and fast-forward to the nice-guy bits. But Mark’s Jesus is one who understands earthy stuff.

With his frank talk of sewers, Jesus rejects the premise of a phony, to-do list religiosity. We can never earn God’s love by way of what we do or leave undone. When we forget Jesus’ earthiness, we deny his humanity and our own.

The love of God is a gift, not merit to be earned.

MOVING FORWARD: What do you think Jesus means when he talks about what defiles us?

PRAY for the Diocese of Rift Valley (Tanzania)

Ps [70], 71 * 74 | 2 Samuel 4:1-12 | Acts 16:25-40 | Mark 7:1-23

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