Isaiah 56:1, 6-7; Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8; Romans 11:13-15, 29-32; Matthew 15:21-28
August 20, 2017; 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Proper 15
Jesus withdrew from Israel and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. There He met a non-Jewish pagan woman. Crying she pleaded for mercy for her demon possessed daughter. She kneeled before Jesus and respectfully addressed Jesus with the Messianic title, Son of David. When Jesus didn’t respond and she continued pleading, the disciples urged Him to send her away.
Jews often insulted Gentiles by calling them dogs insinuating they were wild scavengers. Jesus’ response to this Canaanite woman seemed harsh, “It’s not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” It wasn’t. He was testing her faith. Jesus wasn’t insulting her. He was picturing a family having a meal gathered around a table.
The woman understood the metaphor. The children represented Israel. She didn’t see herself as one of the children. She saw herself as the domestic dog who received crumbs that fell from the table. Her intent wasn’t to deprive the people of Israel of their blessing. She wanted Jesus to extend some of the blessings to her and her child.
The Jewish leaders rejected Jesus. In contrast, this woman had faith in Him. She had the faith Jesus was looking for in Israel. Jesus granted her request. Her daughter was instantly healed.
If a person were to drive by your church early on a Tuesday or late on a Saturday afternoon when no one is in sight, is there anything about the church property that would reach out to that person and make the human connection?
Is there anything about a locked church that communicates the message that people congregate there, people who enjoy themselves and enjoy each other; who have a love for life that comes from a true purpose for living? There can be.
If the church is identified by a sign with a message on it, a message this is creative and relevant, insightful or funny, the thought behind the message can reach out and make that connection. In fact, a well designed, well maintained and creatively used sign can and should be the lens that brings the true human nature of your church into focus.
(Thanks to our friends at The J.M. Stewart Corporation)
In writing text for public speaking or sermon delivery, it is useful to deploy such figures of speech as metaphor, simile and hyperbole. But one must not overlook those figures of speech that require skilled vocal production and articulation: Alliteration; Assonance; Onomatopoeia; and Sound Symbolism. Use the examples below to develop greater skill using Figures of Speech. (more…)
We gather together each week to hear the healing, saving word delivered in the good news of the Sunday Sermon. But there’s also something healing about good company. Thatâ€™s the indication of new research from Ohio State University.
â€œStress delays wound healing in humans and other animals, and social contact helps counteract this delay,â€ says Courtney DeVries, assistant psychology professor at Ohio State.