Welcome to the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost Season B. This sermon was preached at Faith Lutheran Church in Gardner, MA. The scripture readings for the day are Isaiah 35:4-7a, Psalm 146, James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17 and Mark 7:24-37.
Enjoy the latest episode of Livin’ on Grace with Pastor Joe McGarry.
In this sermon Pastor Joe explores these ideas:
The Syrophoenician woman does what any desperate parent would do. She runs, and she throws herself in front of Jesus in an act of respect if not worship, and she begs, for the restoration and healing of her beloved little girl.
For most of my life and ministry I have had this view of who Jesus is, and part of that vision is this perfect all – knowing person. From the age of 12 he is preaching and teaching in the temple. He is the best of the best and he knows who to call, he opens the minds of the people around him and he changed the world. But what if, Jesus could learn as well?
Perhaps there is a chance that Jesus doesn’t quite realize just how expansive God’s kingdom is yet. Maybe this desperate woman pushes him, stretches his vision of God’s grace, and Jesus learns that there is room in God’s kingdom for all, for Jew and Gentile, male and female, black and white, slave and free, insider and outsider, even for this woman and her daughter.
Because Jesus has healed this woman’s daughter, he has said that this woman and her daughter matter — he is giving life to the outsider – he is giving voice to the voiceless and he is giving grace to us all.
We see the risk that we have to take to be the church for everyone in this woman from Syrophoenicia. From Jesus’ first reaction to her she could have put her face into the dust and then go back to her house to watch her daughter die. But instead she chooses to tell The Truth of the Gospel.
Read the Sermon
You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this sermon here.