November 8, 2023

Matthew 15:1-9 (NRSV)

15 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ But you say that whoever tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God,’ then that person need not honor the father. So, for the sake of your tradition, you nullify the word of God. You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said:


‘This people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’”


God of honesty, you call us to be more like you. You call us to follow your laws. But there are times when we do not follow you or your laws. We act in ways that society feels is right or just, ignoring the laws that you created and the ways you call us to live. Forgive us. Embolden us to act counter to the laws of society and follow your laws of love and peace. Amen.


Written by Rev. Margaret (Maggie) Alsup (she/her/hers),

College Chaplain and Director of Service, Lyon College (Arkansas)

Click here for the rest of today’s lectionary readings.