Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pass the Bacon!

Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.'

Peter said, "Explain the parable to us."

"Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' - Matthew 15: 10-11, 15-18

I love me some swine. It tastes rather good in many forms: ham, sausage, pork cops, neckbones (thank you Mom!). But I have a special place in my heart for bacon.

Mmmhhmmmm bacon…

One of the many mysteries of this world for me is why bacon tastes so good and how it is that anyone could honestly not like the taste of it.

Sure there are a lot of folk who swear off the swine for various reasons but do they really not like the taste? Unfortunately, I wouldn’t believe them if they said so.

I guess some questions need no answers.

But on the real… I’m cool with someone not liking the swine; more swine for me. But please don’t look at me like I’m a heathen because I dabble in the bacon from time to time. What does my love for bacon say about who I really am?

Nothing at all.

What Jesus is saying in this passage is rather interesting; and to be honest, quite challenging. He’s saying that what comes out of us as words and actions is what really matters, because it is what we say and do that reflects the condition of our hearts.

This is in line with one of the major themes of his message that we have been discussing. He changed the game from spirituality being a game of rules and traditions to being a deep and personal connection with God at the heart. It is this starting from within, this working at our hearts at the core that makes his message so revolutionary to me.

For some people it isn’t so hard to have an outer shell that seems extra holy and righteous. But it is only when our hearts and minds become refined to reflect the best parts of us that we can walk the good path in a way that is true and authentic.

Otherwise, our “good” acts are just for show.

When we spend more time focusing on the exterior than the interior, eventually what is on the inside bubbles up and erupts to the surface. Don’t believe me? Just ask the plethora of major public figures who have been exposed lately.

The sad thing about many of these folk is that it must be terrifying to live with this conflict between a pristine outer shell and the true being on the inside.

No one is perfect. We all have struggles and weaknesses that cause us to stumble.

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, so there’s no need to pretend. We just have to be honest about who we really are and where we are along this journey of life. When we are honest with ourselves we open the door for God to introduce us to our best self.

No matter how far away this best self may seem, He will help us get there.

Today’s Reading: Exodus 7-8; Matthew 15: 1-20

1 comment:

  1. So I guess the saying "garbage in, garbage out" isn't true :). But one man's garbage is another man's treasure...

    I don't eat pork, but I do love the taste of bacon, lol. Great post.


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