Thursday 19 Aug 2021
Out is More Important than In.
Pr Mark Tan
Mark 7:15, 21-23
¹⁵Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them….²¹ For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, ²² adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. ²³ All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
Very much in people’s minds today is what we put in our bodies: the type of vaccine, the brand of health supplements, the medications we should consider taking. Even what food we eat and whether we eat to live or, now we live to eat.
In many other times, Jesus reminds us that while we should ask God for our daily bread, it is not something we should prioritize so greatly in our lives. For vaccines, please take one, anyone that is available to you and recommended by the attending physician. For medication, please consult a doctor. For food and supplements, everything is fine with moderation.
However, Jesus reminds us in this passage the most important matter is not what goes in, but what comes out. More importantly, what comes out of our hearts. What saddens me in the midst of the pandemic is not only the daily new cases and death rates due to Covid-19, but the silent, unreported suffering of others: divorce, domestic violence and suicide have increased dramatically this year compared to last year, and last year was already far worse than the year before. And while we talk about all the evil that is out there, we forget to address the evil that first begins in us.
You see, while we have been worrying about the physical matters, however important that may be, we forget that evil festers in our hearts all the time. This evil, which may seem like nothing at first, grows and manifests from within our hearts to without, through our actions.
Two challenges today:
- Search your heart, and if there is anything at all that is bothering you and causing you to grow evil in your heart, surrender it to the Lord and if need be, seek help through the church, family, and friends.
- Call someone, anyone that you haven’t been in touch with for a long time, whoever the Lord is leading you to, and ask them how they are doing. For all you know, you might be the help they so divinely needed, just that they weren’t vocalizing it.
Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
经文： *马可福音 7：15，21-23 *
在大流感疫情中让我感到难过的不仅是 Covid-19 导致的每日新增病例和死亡率，而是还有未经报導的默默呻吟，无声的痛苦：与去年相比，今年离婚、家庭暴力和自杀急剧增加，去年已经比前一年糟糕多了。当我们谈论外面的所有污秽时，我们忘记对付首先从我们心中萌生的污秽。