Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them.3(For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) 5So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; 7in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.’ 8You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.” 9Then he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! 10For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ 11But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban’ (that is, an offering to God)— 12then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, 13thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.” (Mark 7:1-13, NRSV)
How many of you have ever been in a restroom and seen someone walk out without washing their hands?
It is disgusting. And we have all learned here in the past 3 months just how much we all need to wash our hands. And wash them for at least 20 seconds. Say the Lord’s Prayer while you wash them.
But is it really about following traditions for the sake of following them or for understanding why we do them?
We should love God and neighbor and through keeping the traditions this should allow us to love others, but when the traditions get in the way of loving others, we must do away with traditions.
We have come to a time in history where we must stop doing things the way we always have and listen to each other and move forward together.
Wash your hands and listen to your neighbor. And love them as God loved you.