Today message from Matthew 15: 10-20 relates the story of Jesus responding to critics. The larger issue was ritual purity, in this case a shallow, perfunctory hand-washing. Now before you feel that this ancient hand-washing was for hygiene reasons, you must understand that there was no germ theory in Jesus’ day. There is no evidence that Jews or anyone else understood the science of how “dirty” hands contribute to infections. Yes, people could see bits of surface dirt just as you and I can. But we know that it isn’t what you can see on your skin that kills you but rather the unseen, microscopicRead More →

A theme of faith emerges from two of today’s scripture readings, Romans 10:5-15 and Matthew 14:22-33. The scene in Matthew has Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee to join his disciples, who were in their fishing boat waiting for him. Not knowing who Jesus was, the disciples cried out in terror because they at first thought that Jesus was a ghost. Jesus reassuringly announced himself, but Peter seemed unconvinced and asked to walk on the water to join his Lord. Peter walked on the water but the power of the wind and waves scared him and he began to sink. Jesus reached out andRead More →