“15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”
The Faith of a Canaanite Woman
21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
How in the world do you take that scripture and make sense of it in a sermon?
Well, Rev. Steve Hundley at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana tackled it today. Preceding the sermon, Elaine, Steve’s wife, read the scripture using The Message, Eugene Petersen’s version of the Bible. In part, it said,
“It is not what you swallow that defiles a person, but what you vomit up!”
The Canaanite woman who came to Jesus, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!” was indeed vomiting up a whole lot of agony. Why did Jesus suggest that helping her would be like feeding bread to the dogs? Listen to what I heard Steve saying about this is his sermon today:
Jesus called a desperate woman a dog! She was a Canaanite who child’s life was grim. Why would Jesus insult her like that? She threw His words right back at Him.
We can relate to her and her dark side. We all have a little bit of the devil in us. But, not Jesus … No! He was perfect! So why did He call her a dog?
Was He rejecting her because she wasn’t Jewish? No, it can’t be true. He must have been saying, “I have a special spot in my heart for the Jews.” Maybe He used this to show the disciples their playing.
Playing with the idea of parroting back to them Their rejection of others – their callous attitude. Jesus seemed to be sending the mother away. Gladly, we can see Jesus help her and sense her gratitude.
We are living in strange times – a nation divided. There are desperate voices shouting out. You have a choice. Whose voices will you hear? How will you respond? Are your words and attitudes matching Jesus’ voice?
When you hear the desperate mother cry, Do you hear her pain and heed her pleas? She boldly calls with faith for her child’s healing. May we also listen, hear, and respond with help to such as these.
Lord, speak to our hearts that we might know Your heart more clearly.
“Open my mouth and let me bear gladly the warm truth everywhere. Open my heart and let me prepare love with Thy children thus to share.”
I am off this evening to say good-bye to our favorite Sunday School kids. Love with Thy children thus to share… This adorable pair is moving from Ennis to go with their parents to Jordan, MT where their dad will take over the family farm. I can’t tell you how much we will miss them. But of course, we will pray for them and hope their transition to their new home is a smooth one.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek and reading the sermon notes. Please add Cord and Ruby and their parents, Suzanne & Casey, to your prayer list. And ask God to send some new little kids to our church, okay?
There were two d’Versepoets.com prompts for today. The instructions are “Write a piece of prose (flash fiction, memoir, nonfiction) that is 144 words or less and includes, word-for-word, ONE of the lines indicated above from Carl Sandburg’s Jazz Fantasia. I chose this line: “… a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills.”
Successful Independence Day
It is a hot July 4th afternoon. My husband and I are on the shady side of the bleachers. Across the arena sun-lovers shade their eyes and strain to see the gate open as the rider emerges on the hump of an angry, cinched bucking bronco.
One by one they buck out of the gates. The audience holds its breath as the rider tries to stay on the required number of minutes before the whistle blows and they are free to dismount. Too often, the rider is bucked off before the whistle. We pray no one gets trampled as the clowns emerge to divert the horse’s attention and the rider scrambles out of harm’s way.
Back home in the pasture, the horse nibbles its reward as a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills. Another successful Independence Day!
If you lived in Montana – west across the valley from the Madison Range – with two mountain ranges north and south of you filled with trails for All Terrain Vehicles, and you had an ATV, how would you spend Father’s Day?
Yup, you guessed it! We went on “Lucille” (our red-headed ATV who is a BALL) up into the Tobacco Root Range to the top of the world this afternoon.
Come and take a ride with us… way up to the snow area where snow drifts caused us to have to turn around and head back down. We’ll start up there and head down
Below that snowy area, there is a gorgeous lookout where we can view the valley below. I took a few photos from that lookout to share with you.
We saw twice as many campers in the camping areas this trip compared to any other year, and we’ve been traveling this route for nearly ten years. During this COVID-19 pandemic, word has gotten out. Montana is a great Big Sky place… with lots of fresh air, space, and unbelievable beauty.
And this “crowd” of campers is nothing compared to what you’d experience in California or Florida or other vacation destinations!
Here’s lookin’ at you! Happy Father’s Day, my friends.
Til next time – Happy Trails to You! See ya tomorrow. Love, JanBeek
This morning was the first of six community Lenten breakfasts. We held it at our church. The next five will be at five other churches in Ennis and Jeffers, Montana. Our topic today was HOPE. About 40 friends from around the community gathered to kick off this Lenten season with food and music, and a message of Hope, delivered by our Rev. Steve Hundley.
Our faithful friend, George and his wife, Lucy, arrived about 5:30 AM to set up the food, make the coffee and get ready for the 7:00 AM crowd.
After breakfast, in preparation for Steve’s message of HOPE, we sang this wonderful hymn. It lends direction to our hopes for this Lenten season and everyday… especially in this world of hatred, injury, doubt, despair, darkness, and sadness. Let us determine to be the peace we seek to find.
So that’s the food and friends and music. What about the feathers? Yesterday I told you about my friend, Bernie, who is in the hospital and has set up quite an artistic “mess” on his tray table. Let me show you:
He has quite a menagerie of feathers there. Look at the flies he is able to create with them:
Yes, WOW!! That’s the feathers… and their creative use for catching some mighty big trout!
But what about the mustangs? Well, our Ennis High School mascot is the Mustang. When I drove by the school this morning, I had to top and take a picture for you of these MAGNIFICENT bronze mustangs. They were created by a local artist (Ennis is an art town with 6 art galleries in a place with a population of less than 1,000).
I’ll try to find out the sculptor’s name and let you know later. It’s important to give him/her credit!
But for now, I am headed to my TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) group. I hope I didn’t gain too much with those scrumptious egg casseroles this morning. I had to try a little of each!
Look for that trophy again… I want to be the biggest loser. I have 6 more pounds to take off to get back to my goal weight.
For more opportunities to appreciate Derrick’s wonderful photos of animals, flowers, his garden, scenery in Great Britain, and his clever commentary, click on the link above. Be ready for some oohs and ahs!
A friend sent me an e-mail with the most amazing photographs of animals. It did not have a photographer’s name credited to the pictures. I wish I knew who was behind the lense for each of these. If you recognize any, let me know, okay?
They are too beautiful to keep to myself and to a few FB followers. Photography such as this is the trademark of true artists!
I need you, my dear WP friends,
to see these. Sit back and enjoy!!
And tell me,
which are your favorites?
Here’s lookin’ atcha!!
Hope you enjoyed this wonderful display. Which was your favorite?