Humans have divided up into tribes ever since sin entered the world. Unlike those in ancient times, modern “tribes” aren’t limited to blood relatives, nor do they exist to ensure survival; they are cliques centered on shared activities, interests, and ideas.
You probably belong to several tribes: fans of your favorite sports team or Netflix show, members of your gym, or followers of your political party. Some of these tribes are open while others are more restricted, but they all possess heroes, jargon, and rituals that define who’s “in” the tribe and who’s “out.”
As Christians, we are members of the most important tribe on earth –the Kingdom of God – and our tribe’s hero, King Jesus, sets the standard for determining who’s in the Kingdom and who’s out. However, we frequently prioritize other tribes more than the Kingdom, and often create our own requirements for Kingdom membership. What happens to us and to the Kingdom when we do this?
In our passage this Sunday, Mark 7:1-8, 20-23, Jesus points us to what truly matters in the in life and in his Kingdom – faith in him and devotion to his law – and warns us about creating tribal traditions that break both the letter and the spirit of his law. Come and worship Jesus, and if you have the opportunity, follow his law by inviting someone “outside of the tribe” to join you