Fifttheenth Sunday after Pentecost
- Great Blessings for Us
- Glory to God
SERMON TEXT: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9
So now, Israel, listen to the statutes and the ordinances that I am teaching you, and carry them out so that you may live and so that you may enter the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving to you and take possession of it. 2Do not add to the word that I am commanding you, and do not subtract from it, so that you keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I am commanding you.
6Keep them and put them into practice, because in this way your wisdom and your understanding will be recognized by all the people who hear about all these statutes; and they will say, “This great nation is certainly a wise and understanding people,” 7because what other great nation is there that has a god as close to it as the LORD our God is to us whenever we call on him? 8What other great nation is there that has statutes and ordinances as righteous as this entire law that I am presenting to you today?
9But guard yourselves and guard your whole being diligently, so that you do not forget the things that your eyes have seen and so that those things do not disappear from your heart all the rest of the days of your life. Make them known to your children and to your children’s children.
FIRST LESSON: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9
See Sermon Text
SECOND LESSON: James 1:17-21
Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the lights, who does not change or shift like a shadow. Just as he planned, he gave us birth by the word of truth so that we would be a kind of firstfruits of his creations. Remember this, my dear brothers: Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. Certainly, a man’s anger does not bring about what is right before God. So after getting rid of all moral filthiness and overflowing wickedness, receive with humility the word planted in you. It is able to save your souls. Be people who do what the word says, not people who only hear it. Such people are deceiving themselves. In fact, if anyone hears the word and does not do what it says, he is like a man who carefully looks at his own natural face in a mirror. Indeed, he carefully looks at himself; then, he goes away and immediately forgets what he looked like. But the one who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of freedom, and continues to do so—since he does not hear and forget but actually does what it says—that person will be blessed in what he does. If anyone considers himself to be religious but deceives his own heart because he does not bridle his tongue, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled in the sight of God the Father is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
VERSE OF THE DAY: Jeremiah 15:16b
Your words became a joy to me, and the delight of my heart.
GOSPEL: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 231-23
The Pharisees and some of the experts in the law came from Jerusalem and gathered around Jesus. They saw some of his disciples eating bread with unclean (that is, unwashed) hands. In fact, the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they scrub their hands with a fist, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions they adhere to, such as the washing of cups, pitchers, kettles, and dining couches. The Pharisees and the experts in the law asked Jesus, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders? Instead they eat bread with unclean hands.” He answered them, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites. As it is written: These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. They worship me in vain, teaching human rules as if they were doctrines. “You abandon God’s commandment but hold to human tradition like the washing of pitchers and cups, and you do many other such things.” He called the crowd to him again and said, “Everyone, listen to me and understand. There is nothing outside of a man that can make him unclean by going into him. But the things that come out of a man are what make a man unclean. “In fact, from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual sins, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, unrestrained immorality, envy, slander, arrogance, and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and make a person unclean.”