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"An Outsider’s Faith" - Gospel: Matthew 15: 21-28

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There was an awkward silence. The question I had asked, was to one of the Cameroonian students that our congregation supports, “How is it going? How are your grades? And, are you getting by okay?”

To much of the question, I already knew the answer. Academic performance, superior. Behavior, exemplary. So I knew the hesitation had to be about finances. I was perplexed because I know that sufficient funds are given regularly to ensure that all regular expenses are covered. So what was the problem????

Evidently, a nephew had been born very recently. He was 2 months premature, and was not doing well. In fact, his parents were told that in the absence of certain procedures, he would likely die. When they asked what they could do, they were told, pray! The student had funds available. They were the funds intended to provide for necessities for school, and were not to be given to family. But now an immediate choice was at hand. To help or not to help. So the help was given, in contravention of the “rules” of the scholarship. Now all that remained was to submit to the consequences. Because of that help, the child was yet alive….

After hearing the story and visiting with the baby’s father, and on behalf of ILC, I intervened, providing funds that permitted the health care that hopefully will save that child’s life. The student was not chastised for doing this thing. But nor were they congratulated. The money they expended will not be returned to them, they made a choice by which they stood, and in the end, the right thing was done.

In this sermon we shall explore Jesus’ very strange behavior toward the Canaanite woman advocating for a tormented daughter. She persisted and the right thing was done. This is a tough text, but it is a timely one for us, as we live through evil up to our necks in this world. What would Jesus really do? Join us and ponder Jesus’ reaction to the needs of the outsiders of this world.

Pr. Luther

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