Persevering for change: Mark 7 – 5th September
How badly do we want change? How serious are we about wanting things to be different in our lives and in our communities?
Wherever Jesus went he initiated change; healing to physical bodies and salvation to people’s souls. He was bringing back the beauty of God to the world which mankind had tainted with their behaviour and rejection of him.
I love that image of Jesus restoring the beauty of God to the world around him. Pressing the ‘reset – default’ button on people’s lives. It’s a mission that we’re all called into but how much do we desire to see change take place? Are we prepared to align ourselves with God’s will and earnestly pray for change and do what we can to help others experience that in their lives?
The Syrophoenician woman in our gospel reading wanted change. The people who brought the deaf man to Jesus wanted change and they hey persevered until they saw it happen. This woman is really quite incredible. It’s hard for us to grasp the enormity of what she did. She challenges and crosses cultural, racial, gender and religious boundaries for the sake of her daughter. Such courage and such faith – she has no right to ask anything of Jesus or to expect anything from Jesus and yet here she is.
Notice the way that Jesus takes the deaf man away to a place of privacy. For those of you who have a problem with your hearing – me being one – it can become very embarrassing to keep asking folks to repeat themselves. Jesus is sensitive to this.
Many folks are embarrassed about asking God for help or even to be seen to be seeking God for help or trying to discover more about God for themselves. They need help. They need us to ‘bring them’ before God in prayer and to reawaken and reimagine the ‘ministry of invitation’ to help them discover who he is. They need us to persevere in faith for change.
Jesus never built barriers to receiving God’s love and healing and neither should we. As a church and as individuals we need to keep looking at how we are creating opportunities for others to discover and to receive God’s love and to keep praying for that change.
Points to Ponder
Who is God bringing to your mind? What is God prompting you to do?
How might we as a church keep opportunities open for dialogue and invitation?
How much do we want change in our lives, in the lives of those we love and in the communities where we live?