When I was first asked if I would like to write this post, I was uncertain, but something in my heart pushed me to accept. As I read through the passage in Matthew 15: 1-16, at first it was difficult to identify the hope in this message. But God, our Father, moves in mysterious ways: He is our hope, and as such He can infuse hope into our very beings to lead us to the hope that can be found in the Gospels.
The passage begins with the Pharisees questioning Jesus about why His disciples “break from the tradition of the elders.” Jesus replies asking “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’” As I thought about this passage, it dawned on me: honoring your father and mother extends to honoring God our Heavenly Father. He commands us to listen and pursue the direction he lays on our hearts. He asks us to follow Him with courage and trust even if it requires breaking away from the lives we already know and the path we believe we are to follow. He requests that we place our hope in Him to lead us to a life filled with joy and grace—even if the path He calls us to pursue seems daunting or uncertain.
In Matthew 15: 8, it is written “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” This is a powerful statement…one that can be difficult to accept as we consider how we are living our lives. God knows our hearts: in the heart lies truth. Our hearts show our true intentions and motivations. We must give up living in fear and give our hearts to our Father to be filled with hope and love. Who could teach us to love and to hope better than the one who is love. I believe Heaven is being with God…and the first step to communion with our Father is willingly surrendering our hearts and our hope to Him. There is no better steward. God guides us. He does not want to see us fail. It takes courage to believe in a hope so big and full of love that it is incomprehensible to our human minds.
Further into Matthew 15, in verses 10-11 Jesus says, “I listen and understand. What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean.” The Lord listens to our concerns. He offers perspective and hope when it seems none can be found. He reminds us that we must think before we speak, that we need to listen and pray before we respond. “What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’…” God reminds us that it is not what we take in that defines our experience, but what we, ourselves, give out to the world. We must trust in our loving, faithful Father to provide us with the hope we need to survive and flourish in this world. We can be surrounded by darkness, but be assured that He has not forsaken us. God calls us to be good disciples and to follow his word. He leads us to hope, one of our greatest blessings, we just have to be brave enough and trust God enough to reach out and take it.
- HOPE // Tomorrow, Thurs, November 15 at 8pm // Lang Hall // 'Q' Ochoa will be in the house sharing about hope! Grab a friend and join us!!
- BASIC EVAL // BASIC is a student-led and staff supported ministry. This means that YOUR input is incredibly important. We want to hear about how Jesus was at work in your life this semester, as well as what BASIC can do to continue to support and love you!! Click the graphic below to go the link for the evaluation.
- SUNDAY #FREEFOOD // Donuts and coffee and good conversations will be available THIS Sunday after the 9:00am service at Nazareth Lutheran Church!
- SWAG SWAG SWAG // Wanna cool chance to talk about Jesus wherever you go? Purchase a BASIC tshirt and/or sweatshirt today! See graphic below for pictures and info on how to order.
- SPRING BREAK // Mission trips to Des Moines, Haiti, or Jamaica are offered through BASIC. See contact information on graphic below to learn more!
- VOLUNTEER OR DONATE // Want to help a family have a wonderful Christmas? Donate toys or volunteer your time at Christmas At Walnut! More information on graphic below.
(Click on any of the graphics below for more details!)