The Scripture lessons for August 20 were Isaiah 56:1,6-8; Romans 11:1,2,13-15; and Matthew 15:21-28. Pastor Krause focused his message on the Gospel lesson which was about the prayers of the persistent woman.
Pastor Krause focused us on the several facts:
- This foreign woman seems to know more about Jesus and have more faith in Jesus than many of Jesus’ Jewish kinsmen.
- This woman addresses Jesus as the “Son of David.” In so doing she, in effect, was recognizing Jesus as the Messiah.
- This woman although initially ignored, and then rebuffed, by Jesus and the Disciples remained confident of Jesus’ loving and merciful nature. She remained confident that Jesus would help her.
- This woman, rather than cowering in Jesus’ rebuff, became more bold.
Pastor Krause encouraged us to examine ourselves from two perspectives. He encouraged us to examine ourselves from the perspective of the disciples and to ask ourselves: “How insensitive and disinterested am I to the needs of others, especially to the needs of people who are different from me?”
Here I was reminded of two quotes by Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “The church is only the church when it exists for others.” And “No sacrifice which a lover would make for his beloved is too great for us to make for our enemy.”
Pastor Krause also encouraged us to examine ourselves from the perspective of the woman. “How confident am I, even in the face of appearances, of Jesus’ love?”
The woman’s prayer was simple: “Lord, help me.” When we pray we don’t to need babble (Mt 6:7-8). We aren’t trying to inform, motivate or manipulate God. We simply open up our heart to God in order that we might receive from Him.
Jesus, positively responded to the woman and even praises her. Jesus loves foreigners, just as He loves us and all people.
Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 2:3-4 “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” He also instructs us in Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Amen! So be it!!!
My thoughts, I would like to hear yours.
(All passages are taken from the NIV unless otherwise noted)
Chime in with your thoughts and questions in the comment section!