Jesus was born into a Jewish culture
that despised the Canaanites and
denigrated their beliefs.
At the beginning of today’s Gospel story,
treats the Canaanite woman with disrespect,
calling her a dog.
parallel for us would be rock star Ted Nugent’s
calling President Obama a
A few scripture commentators go to great lengths
to try to
gloss over this incident with the Canaanite woman,
saying that Jesus was not
really being rude
by using a racist slur
but was somehow setting up a
lesson for his disciples,
and that the unnamed woman was in on the act.
don’t see anything in the Gospel to argue for that interpretation.
contrary, I see confirmation of our traditional understanding
that Jesus was
Just like us in all things.
Like us, he had to learn.
this Gospel tells a story
of how Jesus gained a wider understanding
faith and of tolerance
through conversation with the
Because of his encounter with
the Canaanite woman,
and because of her faith,
this story is a lesson that Jesus’ mission
beyond the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”
to encompass the outsiders in
The lesson is the
same for us.
Who are the outsiders now?
• The pastor of a Church in
canceled Julion Evan’s funeral service
when he found out Julion was
and had married another man.
• Residents of Murietta, California,
screamed in vicious protest and
to Central American
children fleeing from oppression.
• Extremist militants in Iran filmed their
as they beheaded babies and raped women
because their victims
a Kurdish-based ethnic minority
and a religious group the
extremists call "devil worshippers."
• At Claver House Monday one of the
loudly accused another guest of being greedy,
pointing to the
amount of food he put on his tray,
calling him names, belittling him
• Hundreds of West Toledoans
have been putting their houses
on the market
and heading for the suburbs
because a black family bought a
• School will be back in session next week,
where scores of
children will be bullied
because they’re different—
what they wear, where
what they look like, how they
How do we treat the people
in our lives who are different from us?
Today’s scriptures give us some
In Romans, Paul lifts up the “outsiders”—
those Gentiles who
embrace the Way of Jesus.
Isaiah makes it clear that God embraces
because they meet the real requirement of love of God,
the proud and haughty among the natives
who are more enamored of title and
position and wealth
than they are of God.
same time that examples
of exclusion and persecution surround us,
the examples of inclusion and acceptance.
• A woman who wants to do something
to combat racism
decides to invite a mixed group of women
to get to know
each other at a supper at her home.
• A high school student, one of the “in”
notices a new student in class
and asks him to sit at his table for
• A factory supervisor hires a Hispanic
to work inside the factory
instead of in the fields.
• A teen bakes a cake for the family
their new neighbor into the neighborhood.
• I notice that I lose patience
with people when I’m tired,
so I try to get enough
None of us is
Folks today see a conflict between the idea of a perfect
and the faith statement that he is fully human and fully
Perfection doesn’t fit with their experience of
Perfection isn’t required for their own participation in
What is required for both divinity and humanity
conscious, continuous effort to love God and neighbor.
That effort requires
It requires openness to
So we are in the same
position today as Jesus was.
We may not notice right away
the clamor of
people calling for our attention,
but once we do notice them,
we need to
We may not respond right away with grace and love,
but we need to
keep our ears open anyway.
We may not have the energy or the
but we need to do what we can.
We may not respond
but we can learn.
at 3535 Executive Parkway (Unity of Toledo)
at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
Bev Bingle, Pastor