Sunday 16 August 2020

Pentecost 11 2020

Song “From the breaking of the dawn”


Song “Come people of the risen king”


Song ”All creatures of our God”


Song ”Let your kingdom come”


For morning Light

we humbly thank you

And offer our praises to you

Open our heart and minds 

And give us your presence

In our lives today


Song “There is a hope”


The Lords Prayer in our own language


Song ”Spirit pour out”


Matthew 15:21-28

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.


The focus of Jesus' ministry is the Jews, but in this story he meets the Canaanite woman who is not a Jew. She may well have been black. She is unclean. But its all irrelevant to Jesus and to God. It’s the same with us today. Whether the people we meet are Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh or whatever, God does not care. Matthew reminds us that the issue of a person being ceremonially clean or unclean. The woman has faith in Jesus and that’s enough not any religious credentials. 


This story is important because it marks a change. The Pharisees (who are nit pickers about religious credentials) don’t really understand their religious texts or the meaning behind them, unfortunately like many in churches today. They are actually offended by Jesus and the disciples, which says it all. 


This woman is a pagan, not a Jew. The focus moves to someone outside Israel, a descendant of the ancient enemies of Israel. So like the English and Germans, people in Hong Kong and mainland China, Sikhs and Muslims. Shias and Sunnis. 


Jesus has left  Galilee and gone to the border district of Tyre and Sidon. So she lived in the border region and came out of her home to meet Jesus. God cares about people on the borders and how many of us feel that’s where we are. 


Jesus keeps silent and the disciples get it wrong again and ask that she be sent away. 


Jesus answers her question by saying that he had come to save the lost sheep of Israel, the perishing Jews. Did he initially get it wrong or was he teasing out the situation? 


The woman came and knelt before him, an action of reverence.

Jesus says is it right to deprive the children ie the Jews of food and toss it to the dogs, a house dog or a street dog. The children are the  Jews, the non-Jews are dogs, which is very discriminatory.  


The woman is determined, focussed and disagrees with what Jesus has said, explaining that actually the dogs do get to eat, the scraps that fall from the table. Did her persistence change his mind? Obviously so! Her daughter was healed. 


So this short story teaches us we are not to be discriminatory, religious observance is irrelevant, persistence is everything and faith can even change the mind of God! Wow!


Song ”Your kingdom knows no end”


Our Prayers

We pray for people and situations we are concerned about including the desperate people crossing the sea in dinghies, continuing deaths from Covid 19, the ongoing unrest in Belarus, Hong Kong and Syria, the rise of fascism, the government, the Rohinga Muslims, Muslims being persecuted in China, protection for key workers and adequate PPE, protection for Black and Asian people, for people on low or no incomes, for those with underlying health conditions and those over 60, care for those who are alone and those suffering with depression, protection for asylum seekers and refugees and ensuring that food is reaching the vulnerable and global warming. 

Ending with…May we not fail you. Amen



Song ”It is well with my soul”


The blessing of God be upon you 

On those you love and those you meet

This day and forevermore. Amen


With thanks to the Iona Community and apologies this cannot be translated into Cantonese


五旬節11 2020
























21耶穌離開那個地方,回到了提爾和西頓地區。 22那附近的一位迦南婦人來到他那裡,大聲喊道:大衛的兒子,主阿,求你憐憫我!我的女兒被妖魔纏身,遭受了極大的痛苦。” 23耶穌沒有回答。於是他的門徒來找他,並催促他,把她趕出去,因為她一直在追我們。” 24他回答我只被送往以色列的失喪羊群。” 25女人來了,跪在他面前。 “上帝,救救我!26他回答把孩子的麵包扔給狗吃是不正確的。” 27“是的,主, “甚至狗也吃掉主人桌子上掉下來的碎屑。” 28耶穌對她女人,你有信心!您的請求被批准。那一刻她的女兒被治癒了。
























我們為令人關注的人和局勢祈禱,其中包括望的人在小艇中過海,Covid 19的持續死亡,白俄羅斯,香港和敘利亞的持續動亂,法西斯主義的崛起,政府,羅欣加穆斯林,穆斯林在中國遭受迫害,保護關鍵工人和適當的個人防護裝備,保護黑人和亞裔,收入低或沒有收入的人,具有基本健康狀況的人和60以上的人,照顧孤獨者和抑鬱症的人,為尋求庇護者和難民提供保護,並確保糧食到達脆弱和全球變暖的境地。














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