Mark 7:23

all these wicked things come from within, and do defile a person.”


Ojo de Dios
sees and dives deep
into unknown tracts
unknowable seas

dirts muck pollution
are not unknown
unless eyes are closed
partnership denied

when all sufficient
internal enlightment
turns way up
contamination denied

deeper diving
finds strange partners
where there is strong contagion
inside outside blur

unknown clouds
consolidate and poof
split and are gone
in a G*D’s twinkling


These actions or states of being, both singular and plural, are not a contamination. Note Jesus’ acceptance of brokenness and lostness in need of shepherding for a season. There is not a shying away from the “evils” listed. What United Methodists name as “prevenient” grace keeps us reminded of the call to a changed heart and life because mercy and forgiveness are already underway (remember the blanket statement of 3:28, “Truth: all will be forgiven, all that is called “sin” and “denial of an original blessing”.

A question must be asked, “What does it mean to be contaminated in G*D’s view?”

“Contaminated” is all too easily heard as “condemned”. Most translations leave it with a person being unclean without a direct connection to G*D’s disapproval. What can be said here is all the pre-washing in the world doesn’t rid one of their internal wilderness.

For some, negative injunctions help them control their behavior, grit their teeth, and strenuously resist a particular outward expression of their inward temptation. This acknowledges addiction’s ever open opportunity for one more drink or hit. Negativity does assist some addictive responses. Others get trapped here and self-condemned.

Remember the context here is Jesus’ response to the Pharisees concern about pre-washing that he shifted to address the Corbanists and Mark, here, attends more to Paul’s preaching for conversion than Peter’s witness to not call unclean what simply is (an internal wilderness). Fortunately this is not the end of the story.

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