Pondering for Sunday, September 5, 2021

Part 1 of 2

Daily Office Readings for Sunday of Proper 18: Year 1

Morning, Psalms 63:1-8, 98; Evening,  Psalm 103;
1st Kings 12:21 to 33Acts 4:18 to 31John 10:31 to 42:

“The Jews answered, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God:” (John 10:33)

Do we not yet realize that God, the maker and sustainer of all life can, and does enter the human condition whenever, and wherever God chooses?  They were going to stone Jesus because he was human, without considering the fact that God can, and does, become made manifest among us. We never know if when we treat others badly, we are doing so to God Almighty; Something to ponder.

Part 2 of 2

New Testament Eucharistic Readings for Sunday of Proper 18: Year B

James 2:1 to 17 and Mark 7:24-37

“Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.” (Mark 7: 26)

Although there was some back-and-forth between them, Jesus works out of the woman’s faith, her belief that through Jesus anything, and all things, are possible. The writer of this experience, as well as the words of our Lord Jesus, go well beyond what is necessary to make sure we understand that this woman is not an Israelite. This is done by stating that she was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. 

In the same Gospel passage for today we read of Jesus healing a deaf man in the Decapolis, the Gentile area across the Jordan. This healing of an other than Israelite, is done by geographic location rather than race or ethnicity. In any case it shows our Lord Jesus to be the helper of people outside of the so-called God’s chosen.  All of humanity is God’s chosen.

As we sign on through our baptism, we are baptized into the care of people different than ourselves. How do you suppose Jesus would respond to the needs of Afghanistan refugees today?    

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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