Leviticus 15:1-16:28; Mark 7:1-23; Psalm 40:11-17; Proverbs 10:13-14
God spoke to Moses and Aaron about everything, down to what we consider most personal and private. If God spoke to the leaders of the people about such things, why are we so squeamish about them?
It was no wonder that the Pharisees are quick to ask Jesus about the disciples eating with defiled hands. God cared about all these things and outlined specific ways of dealing with them in the Torah. It is when we become preoccupied with the details of things that we get off track and start to make idols of them.
God wanted them dealt with reasonably so that they might not become a distraction for the people wandering in the desert. We are the ones who make a big deal of the details. Jesus wants the people to know that we are not to make a big deal of anything that is not God, that is not love, that is not for the welfare of the people!
God speaks through Aaron and Moses in order to take shame away from the people. Jesus comes into the world to destroy shame, to destroy sin that would stick to us, make us embarrassed to be together, eat together, worship together. Our psalm begs of God, “Make haste to help me!” God will be there when we call, no matter if our hands are washed, our bodies pure, our clothes clean.
The Rev. Alison P. Harrity
St. Richard’s Episcopal Church