Mark 7:24-30 

I don’t know about you, but this reading from Mark always strikes me as a bit of a scandal; to encounter Jesus with a very human prejudice on his lips. I’ve always found it a bit disturbing, especially to see a woman with a deep need coming to the incarnate Word of God, only to be met with an oddly human formation. Where’s the good news in this?—I often have to ask myself.

As I sat with this scandal of a reading for the past few days, I discerned three possible ways I think it might speak some good news to us, and might actually communicate some of the wideness of God’s mercy at play.

One of the things that speaks a word of good news is also one of the things that is most unsettling about this: we encounter a very human Jesus. A Jesus who has been formed by human communities with their own blind-spots, prejudices, and hatreds. Children verses dogs. Read More

davidallen_1

Mk. 7:24-30
(Also cf. Mt. 15:21-28)s

Today’s Gospel reading is the story of Jesus and a woman whose little daughter was afflicted with an unclean spirit.  The woman was a Gentile of Syrophoenician origin.  This story occurs in only two of the Gospels, the Gospel According to Mark, which we heard this morning, and that of Matthew.

I have been praying with these two versions of that story for several weeks, since I was asked to preach on this lesson.

There are several small differences between the two versions; differences in how those who recorded this event saw it.  I think that these differences are of far less importance than the final result. Read More

curtis4Jonah 3:1-10
Mark 7:24-30

I have a question for you about lobsters, something very familiar (and delightful!) to many of us here on the eastern seaboard.  How can a lobster weighing one pound grow into a lobster weighing three pounds, even ten pounds or more when the lobster has such a hard shell?  How can lobsters grow when they seem not only protected but also confined by their hard shell? Read More