In Isaiah we hear that God’s house shall be a house of prayer for all people and that God will gather the outcasts of Israel. The Canaanite woman in today’s gospel is a Gentile, an outsider, who is unflinching in her request that Jesus heal her daughter. As Jesus commends her bold faith, how might our church extend its mission to those on the margins of society? In our gathering around word and meal we receive strength to be signs of comfort, healing, and justice for those in need.
A house of prayer for all peoples
Let all the peoples praise you, O God
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
God’s mercy to all, Jew and Gentile
The healing of the Canaanite woman’s daughter
Worship Themes and Music
Knowing what is right and being able to go after it until you get it is how change happens in our lives and in our world. Some of the greatest people in history had a vision of how to make to society better and they didn’t stop until they were satisfied. In today’s Gospel, the Canaanite woman insists that Jesus heal her daughter despite calls from the disciples for her to be sent away. Yet, she persisted against all odds and Jesus granted her request and in doing so showed the world that God’s grace is for all.
We are singing our vision for the world into existence this Sunday. The song of the day today has us sing, “There is welcome for the sinner, and a promised grace made good; there is mercy with the savior; there is healing in his blood.” Also, in another song for the day we will sing, “In Christ there is no east or west, in him no south or north, but one community of love throughout the whole wide earth.” This vision involves the tearing down of old, repressive structures and the building up of new structures which reflect our belief that God’s grace is universal and not to be reserved for a select few.
In what aspect of your life do you need to be persistent right now? How does God figure into that persistence?
Welcoming the stranger is not easy. In what way can you change the world around you to be more welcoming to the least among you?