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Lem’s Sermon Notes
Sept 6 Pentecost 15B
Topic: It’s a Miracle!
Text: Mark 7:24-37
Sunday Psalm: Psalm 125
Ok, the word ‘trust’ does not appear in the text today, I realize, but it is very present.
The word ‘miracle’ doesn’t appear either, but the text is really centered on two of them.
Trust is implied, especially I the woman who boldly approaches Jesus. She is a ‘gentile.’ In the Jewish culture of the time, a person who was a gentile was considered one who resided outside the law. To be outside the law meant to be ineligible to receive God’s gifts of healing, forgiveness, and love.
The gentile woman had a daughter who possessed an evil spirit. She had heard of Jesus’ great acts, and even though she was not a Jew, she went to request a cure for her daughter. We might want to notice this woman was attempting to cross not one but three barriers.
The woman was a gentile.She was asking a Jewish rabbi for assistance.Why would she do this when she was obviously not a member of the Jewish community?But she did anyway.
She was a women. In neither the Jewish nor the Roman culture would a proper (not a prostate) woman approach a man without being first recognized by the man.She was literally placing her life in danger by doing this.But she did anyway.
The woman’s need was for her daughter.Women in those times were considered little more than slaves.Not only was this woman putting herself in danger by approaching Jesus uninvited, but she was doing it for a girl.We, in our culture might miss this entirely, but the woman did not.She compared herself and her daughter to the dogs foraging for food under the table during a meal.She realized she had little chance to get attention from Jesus.But she tried anyway.
So, ask yourself, Where is the miracle? Is it that the girl was healed? Is it that God recognizes even those who are outside the faith? Is it that Jesus’ love extends to the down trodden and socially insignificant? The answer is a resounding YES to all three question.
Next is the matter of trust.
Both acts of healing in Sunday’s text involve subjects who demonstrated trust. The woman asking for Jesus’ help for her daughter demonstrated she had not doubt but that Jesus could drive out the demon. The man was able to endure the strange method of healing Jesus used because he knew Jesus could heal him.
The text loudly proclaims the fact that Jesus responds to our trust. Sounds like such a simple thing, doesn’t it? All we have to do is trust if Jesus’ love and grace, and all things can and will be possible.
Come Sunday, and celebrate this simple truth. It’s really a miracle – really.
Sermons for the Next Four Weeks
Sept 13 What Words Do James 3:1-12 Pentecost 16B Psalms 19 Words
Sept 20 Settling Disputes James 3:13-4:8 Pentecost 17B Psalms 1 Friendship
Sept 27 Leading the Way James 5:13-20 Pentecost 18B Psalms 124 Spiritual Leadership
Oct 4 World Communion Sunday I Corinthians 11:19-34 Pentecost 19B Inclusiveness
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To proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ; To provide opportunities for: worship, prayer and praise of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit - open communion with the community of believers - study of God's word and growth in Christian education for all ages - fellowship within the congregation to strengthen communication, friendship and unity of membership; To reach out to others through prayer, financial support, action and service within the church family, in the community of Cheney, and beyond the local church into the region and conference, nation and all of God's world; To continue witnessing a nurturing partnership between DOC and UCC within the local church and through support of and involvement in both denominations in all levels and areas of concern.
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