Lent Devotion, April 4, 2017

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Matt had suggested that Jesus stood silent before the Canaanite woman because he was pondering whether he should help her.  Elizabeth said, “Jesus may have been uncertain. But the disciples knew what they thought. They told Jesus she was annoying, and that he should send her away. In other words, get rid of this foreign woman. She’s not one of us, and all she is doing is causing trouble.”

The Pastor said, “The disciples have a ‘Jonah attitude.’”

“What do you mean?” asked Ron.

Pastor replied, “God wanted Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh, and speak God’s message. Jonah wanted nothing to do with that, and he tried to flee from God. That didn’t work out very well, and eventually Jonah did what God wanted. But when the Ninevites turned to God, Jonah started sulking. He told God, ‘This is why I didn’t want to come here. I was afraid you would show mercy. These people aren’t like us. They don’t deserve mercy.’ Jonah would have understood the disciples desire to send the woman away.”

Jensi said, “So the disciples stand with Jonah. Also, I think, with Nehemiah and Ezra. Remember them? It’s their exclusion of non-Jews that led to this study group.”

Elizabeth said, “That’s what’s fascinating about the Bible. It’s not a single voice, but many voices struggling to figure out what God want us to do. That’s why groups like ours are valuable: we help one another listen for what God is saying.”

            Lord, the Bible is a story of generations of people seeking what you are saying. Join us with them, and give us your guidance. Amen.

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