In today’s lesson Jesus is teaching his disciples that those traits we have that defile are internal not external. It is our words and actions that reveal what is in our soul. The Pharisees we the religious literalist and fundamentalist of Jesus’ day. Jesus taught that our thoughts and behaviors that make us less than what we were created to be are not the results of not washing our hands properly before eating.
The text then takes us to a place that is uncomfortable. Jesus and his disciples give no regard at all to a Canaanite Woman pleading for her daughter’s healing. However, she used his persistence and wit to get the healing she needed. It appears Jesus healed her daughter because the Canaanite Women was not going to give Jesus and the 12 any peace until he met her need. Does this text imply Jesus and the disciples showed prejudice against that woman?
- The Pharisees are blind guides.
- Moses changed the mind of God. The Canaanite Woman changed the mind of Jesus.
- Why did Matthew include this story for his Jewish audience?
- Another woman who was poor and people discounted, Harriet Tubman.
- We must be careful when we discount those whom we consider lesser than.
- Both women are still teaching us even today.
- What are the words we are releasing from our mouths?
- The USA is a country where we do not seem to be able to disagree because of our hatred toward one another.
- Unfortunately the Canaanite Woman’s miracle did not happen because Jesus was moved with compassion. She used her power to heal her daughter.
- Most of the great changes in the US have not resulted from compassion. They are the results of protest and persistence/
- Abolition of Slavery, Women’s right to vote, Civil Right, Voting rights for all US citizens, LBGTQ rights.
- I believe We as a nation need to focus on washing and cleansing our heart and soul with as much vigor as we do our hands.
- We need to have the same determination to stop spreading hatred as we do a virus. I promise you I will work on it in my life.
- What promise are you committed to making today.
Call to Celebration
God of Hospitality, thank you for inviting us into your presence.
You guide us into truth by expanding our thinking.
You encourage us to shift in consciousness.
Staying within the confines of tradition restricts our vision.
Authenticity speaks her truth and causes transformation.
Empower us to see, hear and respond to that which speaks loudly within us. Amen
God of compassion, you offer us the gift of living on the cutting edge. When we meet persistence, may we hear her urgent call to thinking and feeling more deeply. May we not resist the gift she is offering. Amen
Bringing in the Light
Celebrations and Concerns
Scripture & Sermon
Extinguishing the Light
Matthew 15: 10-28
A Prayer for Peace and Restoration
God, so often we miss the blessing in persistence, because we are ready to move on. Persistence lingers to remind us to shift. Help us remain open to hearing the authentic message of our pain and discomfort. Amen
Rev. LaTrell Harrison
well said I was brought up to know how to disagree with love. My husband and I don’t always agree but we respect each other’s right to have a different opinion. This is what we need to learn as a country. I am tired of issues splitting families and friends because of a difference of opinion one supports one political party and another another political party. Also that because someone is different we shouldn’t care about them or be their friend. I will never forget flying into Washington DC and seeing it on fire in the 1960’s It should never come to this.
That people are so desperate that they feel they have nothing to lose but here we are again. We should be reaching out with love, food, money if we have it to help. These are desperate times and many people are hating because of fear more than anything else. We need to find ways to lessen these fears and provide what people need.
Martha, thank you for your comment. I agree with everything you wrote. I hope and pray our nation will once again find a way to be united even when we disagree.