Monday, August 21, 2017

Devotion 8.22.17

The PC environment has been a growing business.  It started as a way to curb insensitive remarks, mainly as heard and observed, mostly in university settings.  Today?  It's a cottage industry that thrives on not just what is said, but what is perceived to be meant through not just words, but actions that include, but are not limited to what you post on Facebook or other social media, your conduct at school or in the workplace, and social settings such as a party you attend, what you wear, and perhaps even books on your bookshelf.

So, as I was listening to "The Lutheran Hour" last Sunday on the way to church (790 am at 8 a.m.), I wondered where the speaker (didn't get his name, I could look it up, but that would take time) was going when he started his message by talking about the PC environment.  He then went to the passage in Matthew 15 where the Canaanite woman approaches Christ to heal her daughter.  Just the set up is a clash in culture.  Christ, a Jew, and a Canaanite woman, together that are like oil and water.  When she asks, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David, my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon." (v 22)  She, an outsider, knows who Christ is.  Christ ignores her at first, and then he proceeds to tell her, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (v 24)  She persists, to which He then says, "It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." (26)

Excuse me?  Did Christ really just say what we just read?  Did He tell the Canaanite woman she, and her people, were unworthy "dogs" not to receive the Word of God?  The woman is unphased and retorts, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master's table." (27) 

Was she offended?  We don't know.  Did Christ intend to offend her?  We don't know, but as Pastor noted on Sunday as did the Lutheran Hour speaker, Christ is the judge of our faith, and Christ used opportunities to test that faith (and still does today).  Christ finally said to her, "'O woman, great if your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.' And her daughter was healed instantly."

From this, we learn that we do not withhold the Word of God from others because of what our sinful hearts deem "worthy."  We learn that Christ alone judges.  We learn that Christ's Word was made available even to a "Canaanite woman."  Finally, we learn that Christ's Words may not be PC, but His was a pure heart, not sin-filled, so His Words were spoken in truth and in love. 

We pray that our words are not divisive, but that when we speak from scripture, we let God's Words convict or heal.  We pray that those we reach out to are receptive and that the Spirit brings them to faith. 

Hope Men's Ministry

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