1601 South 13th Road · Arlington, VA 22204

Sermon Archive

This second Sunday in August the pastor’s sermon is taken from the 7th chapter of Mark, verses 1 through 8. As Jesus’ disciples and the gathered crowd share a meal and fellowship, the pharisees and teachers focused on the disciples’ unwashed hands instead of celebrating the encounter with the Holy. Jesus was disappointed that they were placing the traditions of the elders above God’s commands.

Jesus found it unsettling because the pharisees and teachers were stirring up controversy when they should have been focused on the center. The Lord is the center. The fellowship and being in His presence were what really mattered. We may be reminded of churchgoers who complain and become disgruntled when someone shows up in the sanctuary disheveled or with an inconsolable baby. They should instead rejoice that a weary soul and new life are among us. These are opportunities to live out the Word.

Concentration on protocol and not on piety is ungodly. Instead of comprehending that all encounters with Jesus are sacred, the focus is on hygiene. Jesus wants to meet people in their brokenness, in their unclean, unkempt state. Only He can touch, purify and make them whole. It is heartbreaking to see Christians distracted and looking down on people engulfed in life’s messiness. That is when God is needed most. That is when He steps in to bring order out of misery and chaos.

Jesus is also disturbed by a concentration on the process rather than hearts that are open to God. It is merely lip service when the Word is stymied by holding on to hollow traditions established by man. God is not worried about someone brushing up against the communion table or not strictly adhering to the rituals of the church. He wants us to release the tension and let go of unnecessary traditions that are not based on the Word. After all, these traditions can block our divine encounters with our Savior.
Duration:25 mins 2 secs

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Mount Olive Baptist Church

1601 South 13th Road
Arlington, VA 22204