Patient Persistence

Matthew 15:21-28 (8.20.17)        It is another story of a woman interrupting Jesus. Like the woman at the well in John’s gospel, she is not Jewish. And both encounters take place outside of Israel, when Jesus has crossed the line into unwashed territory. Matthew tells us this woman is Canaanite… part of the people who had opposed the Israelites in the long ago battle over the real estate we call the Holy Land. When Mark tells the same story, he identifies her as a Syrophoenician woman, a Greek. Both are clear that she is not a Jew, but a Gentile. She is from the regions of Tyre and Sidon, coastal cities on the outside northern edges of Israel, in what was called Canaan, then Syria, then Phoenicia, named for the purple dye found in that part of the world. She is a Gentile living in Gentile territory.
What is Jesus doing there in the first place? I don’t think it is his summer vacation on the Mediterranean coast. Continue reading “Patient Persistence”

Sing a New Song

Psalm 33         When we gathered for praising God at Massanetta, we waited until all were together outside the door of our worship space before we entered. We were called to worship not as individuals, but together, as an entire body of 300 youth and adults, walking in between a two sided wall of welcoming high fives from our leaders, to loud, energetic music that just made you have to dance a bit. Continue reading “Sing a New Song”