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Be true- not polite!

I haven’t written any posts for about a year!  It’s been a year of much change.

In November we relocated.  My husband is going back to school, our daughter is enjoying new friends at the local child care center, and I have a new job at the college where Mat is studying.  I work as a Resident Counselor which feels like an extension of my healing practice.

The school year doesn’t afford much time for writing so here it is, Summer Break- time to share some spiritual lessons.IMG_5030

Here is a simple lesson that I came across in my study of the Bible this morning.

In the beginning of Mark 7 the Pharisees and scribes are disgusted when they see the disciples eating and didn’t, “wash up” before eating!

From a cursory look at the significance of hand washing before meals in Judaism, I learned that it is one of the most sacred hand washing rituals of the day.  I imagine the ritual is partly practical regarding cleanliness, as it is also devotional.

“The most developed and, perhaps, important of these washings is the washing of hands before eating bread. Such washing of hands is called in Hebrew, netilat yadayim, meaning ‘the lifting up of the hands.’ It is looked upon with such rigidity, that those who willfully neglect its practice are said to make themselves liable to excommunication, and bring upon themselves a state of scarcity, and are quickly taken out of the world.”

Hand Washing in Judaism

Consequently, the Pharisees and scribes asked Jesus, “Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?” (Mark 7:5)

Jesus responds that Isaiah was spot on when he prophesied that our spiritual worship is in vain if we prioritize rules and ritual over the heart.  This begs the question of readers, “Is my heart true?”

Later, Jesus unpacks this idea.  It’s not the externals that plague us- it’s the unclean thoughts that we tollerate.

The most healing thing we can do is to break with conventional or fear filled thoughts- to think for ourselves. Let go of criticism. Think in spiritual and unlimited terms about yourself and others.IMG_5014

I ask myself, “What futile, near-sighted, unclean, unproductive, unhealthy, and judging thoughts can I release today?”

And then I wonder, “If I unearth some tired modes of thinking does that mean I have a long road ahead to get back on track?”

I don’t think so- I think it is more immediate.

In conjunction with the Bible, I study Mary Baker Eddy’s book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.  In the chapter, “Recapitulation” she writes, “…come naturally into Spirit through better health and morals as the result of spiritual growth.”  pg 485

This is a call to be more disciple-like to take the plunge- to not stand on ceremony or to be preoccupied with culture, fear, time, or politeness.  It is in me to be true- to be pure.  It is in you.

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