Notices for Sunday 6th September 2015

She said, “Of course, Master. But don’t dogs under the table get scraps dropped by the children?”
Mark 7:28 (Message)

Father God help us to stop showing favouritism and to help those who are less able to help themselves.
Amen

We welcome our preacher this morning who is Rev Richard Sharples
After service tea hosts Christina and Joan

Our thanks for the flowers which are given by Margaret Welsh and Alison in memory of a treasured grandson and nephew Callum Robert
Organist: Joan McGowan

Sunday 13th September
11.00am        Rev John Wiggall

Diary Dates

September
Mon 7th        Every Day with Jesus Bible Study in Lounge 10.30am
Wed 9th       Hope & District Cytun Meeting in Lounge 1.30pm
Fri 11th         Lunch Club in the hall at noon – Price £2.50
Sun 13th       WWII Anniversary Service Hope Parish Church 6.00pm
Thu 24th      Bernie & Red Concert (see below)

Please pray for the following:
Phyllis Davies
Isobel Holroyd
Mark Steene
Gareth Jones
Maurice Anderton
Kay Davies
Vanessa Woolrich

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

When Crumbs Are Enough
Mark 7:24-37

So, how did this woman get into the house where Jesus was staying? The text begins by saying that Jesus didn’t want anyone to know where he was. He was never given a moment to himself. And here he has entered someone’s home and a woman bows at his feet – and a Gentile woman. So again, how did she get there? Who let her in? Where were the body guards? Where was the bouncer?

I believe she belonged in the scene. She didn’t sneak in. In other words, someone, presumably a Jewish male knew her. Maybe she was a servant or part of the kitchen help. Maybe not, maybe she was a friend of the home owner, a guest. Maybe the homeowner was more open and welcoming than Jesus was.

Now, Jesus seems to be ok with this woman being in the room but he is not ok giving her the resources that are meant for the children of Israel. Resources are limited. Resources are earmarked. Resources are earned.

Is Jesus saying that God’s resources have an end? God’s resources are limited? Are not for everyone?  This woman understands resources differently than Jesus and she explains it to him. “You see, there are crumbs that go unused. And crumbs are actually enough. The resources here are enough.” Maybe Jesus knew that but he didn’t believe the resources were for everyone. The resources are for the favoured people of Israel.

Favoured. Favouritism is not a new thing. Favouritism is played out in so many ways in our culture. We place value in myriad ways. We judge by our bodies, our minds, our social ability, our education, our age, the colour of our skin, our gender, our sexual preference, the colour of our hair, our size, our stature, our salary, the size of our homes, the size of our backyards, the size of our 401K, the success of our children, whether we have children or not, whether we talk too much or too little, whether we share too much or too little. There are hundreds of ways we calculate worth and somehow we too act as if resources are earmarked. Resources are limited. Resources are earned.

We withhold resources, we save them and hoard them and scrutinize how we will spend them. (And by scrutinize I mean we choose to buy coffee at Starbucks rather than pay off debt or sponsor an orphan halfway around the world.)

Listen, I’m preaching to myself as much as anyone who is still reading. James writes, “Do you, with your acts of favouritism truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ?” Favouritism is not new. We play favourites, Jame’s audience played favourites, Jesus played favourites – that is until that woman welcomed him into a relationship with her where crumbs are enough.

I’m not sure where I’m headed this week with these texts but I’m going to continue reading about favouritism. I’m going to consider those who are in the room but considered less valuable. And I’m going to think about crumbs and giving them away.

Rev Beth Scibienski, Grace Presbyterian Church, New Jersey, USA

 

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