By the Reverend Dr. Warren Crews
In contemporary thinking about preaching, the focus today is on how biblical stories provide us with metaphors that have the power to open up spiritual meaning that can then draw us in and shape our thinking and acting. A key metaphor in a biblical story can bridge the gap between then and now, and let it frame the sermon. In today’s gospel lesson, the metaphor that keeps jumping out at me comes from this passage is, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” I want to explore with you the metaphor of crumbs. That sentence is a key turning point in today’s gospel story. Before that, Jesus and his disciples seem to be spurning the woman who wants Jesus to rid her daughter of the demon that is tormenting her. The disciples are rejecting her because she is not a Jew, she is a Gentile. Even Jesus says that their mission is only to feed the children of Israel, not to throw the food of salvation to the dogs—in other words, to Gentiles, like this woman and her daughter. Now—was Jesus really saying that God’s grace is restricted only to Jews? Or was Jesus just grumpy because she was interrupting his vacation up in beautiful Lebanon? What is going on here?
Various members of the St. John's congregation contribute to this blog. For editorial suggestions, contact Jeff McIntire-Strasburg at firstname.lastname@example.org
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