Year B Proper 17 Mark 7 2012
Creeds or Deeds
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23



Rev. David Chadwell posed a rather interesting question: Which would you prefer for a next-door neighbor: a person of excellent habits or a person with a good heart? Which would you prefer for a good friend: a person of excellent habits, or a person with a good heart? Which would you prefer for a husband or a wife: a person of excellent habits, or a person with a good heart? Which would you prefer for a child: a child with excellent habits, or a child with a good heart?

It is wonderful to have a neighbor who conscientiously cares for his property while respecting your property. It is wonderful to have a friend who always treats you with consideration. It is wonderful to be married to a husband who always is thoughtful and courteous, or to a wife who always is gracious in her comments and deeds. It is wonderful to have a son or daughter who shows respect and uses good manners.

As wonderful as those situations are, none of them compare to having a neighbor, a friend, a husband, a wife, a son, or a daughter with a good heart.

When you discuss good behavior, you are discussing the quality of a person's self-control. When you discuss a good heart, you are discussing the quality of the person.

This is the focus of today's Scripture...




Be a Night Light
James 1:17-27

How many of you had "night lights" as a kid? Can you remember your "night light?" Do any of you still have your "night light?"



What is it about the night that cuts us all down to size? Whatever you felt in the day -- loneliness, lostness, despair — is magnified in the night.

Thank God for "night lights" – those calming, gleaming points of brightness in darkened rooms that helped muzzle monsters and banish the bodysnatchers.

All you kids present — I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Adults still use "night lights." Only we rationalize them as guidance systems to the bathroom, or emergency lighting systems. Basically though, we are all still afraid of the dark.

Fear of the dark isn't just some childish weakness. It is a genetically ingrained reaction, programmed into our earliest ancestors who struggled to stay alive when the nocturnal predators came out to hunt. Children might fear imaginary monsters, but there are enough real life things that go bump in the night to encourage us to keep a dark-defying light on throughout the wee, small hours...

sermons.com presents Leonard Sweet