Words for the Week – September 13, 2018

Greetings church.

In the gospel last week, Jesus’ first response to a Syrophoenician woman who asked for her daughter’s healing was to point out that she wasn’t the right ethnicity.  More than just dismissive, Jesus was offensive, cruel, and inconsistent with his own character.  I offered possible ways of understanding this response, including the possibility that because Jesus was human, he got tired and let his human biases show through. 

Ultimately, we don’t know what Jesus was thinking in rebuffing her request.  But he eventually healed her daughter. He allowed himself to correct course and make it known that in God’s kingdom, there is no distinction based on ethnicity.  Jesus’ ministry of healing and teaching kept expanding to people and places that were deemed unworthy.  The bottom line is that Jesus loved all he encountered.  He also loves you. 

Listen to the sermon here.

In our gospel reading for this Sunday, Jesus tells the disciples that he will suffer and die and rise again. One of the disciples, Peter, responds by rebuking him.  I imagine that Peter thought he was doing Jesus a favor. Jesus doesn’t respond with “thanks for saving me Peter.” Instead, Jesus rebukes Peter saying, “get behind me Satan, you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

In this encounter, Jesus tries to convince Peter that there is more going on that meets the eye.  Where Peter only sees sacrifice and loss, God is creating something else.  In my sermon I’ll talk about what that “something else” is and why it is so hard and yet, so glorious.

Be at Peace,
Pastor Sarah