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Lent #12: What about those dirty dishes??

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Some of us concern ourselves more with external appearances than others...I say this as a statement of fact, not judgment. I grew up in a home that was always clean and of my mother's legacies to me. Dirty dishes sitting on the counter?? An anathema to her...and now, to me. I hate dirty dishes, particularly those that are stacked on the counter or in the sink...yuck!

What about you? Does "neatness count" for you...are external appearances important in your lexicon for good living?

What would Jesus do with dirty dishes? Can you believe there's a passage in the Bible that talks about washing dishes? Indeed there is...let's check it out:

Some of the Jews and Jewish leaders (Pharisees) were following Jesus, keeping an eye on him and his followers, trying to find things they could criticize about him and his teachings. They noticed that some of his followers weren't following the Jewish rules for ritual washing before eating their meals. The Jews would never eat until after they did their traditional hand washing ceremony, and until they had observed all their other rules about washing cups, pitchers and kettles.

When they questioned Jesus about the dishwashing problems, the Jewish leaders were fretting about the possibility of becoming spiritually unclean because of an unwashed cup...his response?

First, he said this: "These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me."

Then, Jesus said this about all the dishwashing rituals: "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.'"

Jesus spent alot of time teaching in parables...stories that were sometimes difficult to understand, unless Jesus explained the meaning. In this case, it seems to me, Jesus puts the message right on the table...

There is no value in "cleaning things up on the outside." If the condition of your heart is unclean, you...are not clean. Your dishes, so to speak, can sparkle and squeak from cleanliness, but that doesn't mean your heart is pure. And if you think God doesn't see through our fake presentations of cleanliness, think again.

A good reminder, for me anyway, of what Lent is about. Lent is about looking at the inside...evaluating our's about making sure our efforts to present a "clean" outside are congruent with a genuine heart for God.

When you worship this sure to check the cleanliness of your heart, rather than just the outer appearance you present to the world.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I usually belong to a small church (or I did before I moved to the BIG CITY) and what I loved about it was that the farmers came in their overalls, workers came in their work clothes and Mom's just came as themselves slacks or dresses and what amazed me was the shining example of genuine love and understand of their Bibles and if you had a problem they helped out or you were sick they came by to check on you. Their beauty shone from the inside out. It was not about their clothes, I loved this about my old church.

    Now I belong to a bigger church 2600 members to be exact and on Sunday it is all about who can dress the best now because the TV camera will be rolling at the 11 am service. It has so discouraged me that we now go to the 9 am service, where only about 150 are there and they come as they are and the love of God shines from the inside out.

    Your blog reminds me of this and how important it is to worry about the inside and not the outside so much.

    Once again excellent.
    2160 days ago
    Wow, Susie! This blog is GREAT! Thank you for sharing this topic! Working 2 jobs, the dishes can sometimes overwhelm me (Drex does a lot of things, but not often dishes). I really appreciated this message!

    I am so behind, but just plugging along, and I will get caught up on my Sparking. There is so much less stress with less "stuff" to do on it. I am not worrying about the points so much, and just tracking the necessary things and keeping up with blogs of my best SparkFriends. So much nicer! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2163 days ago
    WEll said and when I come over for 5 k's I'll make more of an effort to put my dishes in the dishwasher!
    2163 days ago
    So true. Have a great day and a great Lent, spring cleaning the inside.
    2163 days ago

    2163 days ago
    Again, very well said.
    i wish you a wonderful Sunday too.

    2164 days ago
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