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Showing posts from September, 2017

Handling Interruptions

Have you ever wanted just to get away from it all?   When I was in college I went through a very difficult time where I was trying to go to school full time and work full time.   I quickly got burnt out.   One day I decided to put down everything I was doing and travel up the California coast. I took some money out of the bank, a change of clothes, borrowed a friend’s tent and camped along the way. No sooner had I reached my destination of Big Sur then I realized I was ready to go back home, face and deal with my problems one by one. Last Sunday we read about Jesus’ continuing battle with the Pharisees.   This time the point of contention was hand-washing. We get the sense in our passage for today that Jesus was growing weary in battle. He wanted to get away from it all and just have a break. On this occasion, for his break Jesus went clear outside the boundaries of Israel, into the region of Tyre and Sidon. This region represented an ancient enemy of Israel (Jeremiah 47:4; Jo

Clean and Unclean

Peter Falk was an actor who spent his career playing a wide range of roles in comedy and drama. Most notably, he played an eccentric, rumpled but ever-triumphant detective in the hit television show Columbo. In real life, Falk had a glass eye, resulting from an operation to remove a cancerous tumor when he was three years old. In spite of his missing eye, he was a high school athlete. In one story he liked to tell, after being called out at third base during a baseball game, he removed his eye and handed it to the umpire.  “You’ll do better with this,” he said. [1] I think we are all just a bit like Peter Falk. We would all like to think we are the best umpires of our own lives, the best judges of whether we are safe or out, clean or unclean, righteous or unrighteous. However, there is someone else, who in the Gospels asserts his right to be the ultimate umpire. His name is Jesus. Let us see what he has to say about being safe or being out, clean or unclean, from Mark 7