Addition by subtraction

Posted by Jacob Dell on

Proper 17

Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9; James 1:17-27; Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23

After last week's sermon (see: "Put away the gods"), a parishioner said to me, "Your sermon needs a sequel. What are we, as the chosen, supposed to do?"

This week's readings from Deuteronomy give the answer. Moses says,"You must observe [the law] diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!'" (Deut. 4:6).

The Jew's task is to preach Torah to the whole world. The nations are to take note of the Jews and of the special way in which they live. Commenting on this passage Joseph Soloveitchik wrote, "our way of life must impress and attract people and fascinate their curiosity."

Can that be said of Christians? If not, might it be because of an hypocrisy that leads to indifference, as Jesus explains in this Sunday's reading from Mark?

Click here to watch the sermon or read the transcript and to learn more about the integrity God expects of those who believe in Him.