1. Hmmm . . .
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    08 Jul '08 03:37
    Just need a sermon, Rev. Your choice of text. Don’t blow me off: I’m dead serious. Take your time...

    _____________________________________

    Note: For those who don’t know, though I generally bill myself as a Zennist, Kirk is as close as I’ve got these days to a spiritual mentor; no kidding. For those that question his doctrinal credentials—etc., etc.—when it comes to the spiritual roots of the gospel, he’s got the real deal: the real rootical deal. Got it in his bones: I don’t know how, I’ve quit even asking. Some of you only see his “irreverencies”—I’ve learned to see the reverent ground from which even they arise.

    Kirk, my friend, just need a bit of help here. If I could be more specific, I would. I know that’s not fair. But there it is. For all to see...
  2. Joined
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    08 Jul '08 04:13
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Just need a sermon, Rev. Your choice of text. Don’t blow me off: I’m dead serious. Take your time...

    _____________________________________

    Note: For those who don’t know, though I generally bill myself as a Zennist, Kirk is as close as I’ve got these days to a spiritual mentor; no kidding. For those that question his doct ...[text shortened]... d be more specific, I would. I know that’s not fair. But there it is. For all to see...
    "For those that question his doctrinal credentials—etc., etc.—when it comes to the spiritual roots of the gospel, he’s got the real deal: the real rootical deal. Got it in his bones: I’ve learned to see the reverent ground from which even they arise."

    Have you considered that you see it that way because you're as much a Zorbaist as a Zennist? 🙂
  3. Hmmm . . .
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    08 Jul '08 04:52
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    [b]"For those that question his doctrinal credentials—etc., etc.—when it comes to the spiritual roots of the gospel, he’s got the real deal: the real rootical deal. Got it in his bones: I’ve learned to see the reverent ground from which even they arise."

    Have you considered that you see it that way because you're as much a Zorbaist as a Zennist? 🙂[/b]
    LOL!!! Ah, I think you nailed me there! What a memory you have!!! And the insight to go with it!

    ________________________________

    Ah, I am still laughing! All with great good humor and friendship! I will have to “be careful” of you—I mean that in the best “Zen” possible way! Not in the way of adversaries, but in the way of brothers who sometimes discern curves in the path differently. But it is the same path. It is pleasant to be known by someone.

    I trust that you and I now have the “shorthand” that you understand what I am trying to say...
  4. Donationbbarr
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    08 Jul '08 05:50
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Just need a sermon, Rev. Your choice of text. Don’t blow me off: I’m dead serious. Take your time...

    _____________________________________

    Note: For those who don’t know, though I generally bill myself as a Zennist, Kirk is as close as I’ve got these days to a spiritual mentor; no kidding. For those that question his doctrinal credentials—etc., ...[text shortened]... I could be more specific, I would. I know that’s not fair. But there it is. For all to see...
    The Good Reverend's job is a spiritual crucible. I can only hope that when it is time for my loved ones to pass, they have somebody like Kirk to be present with them. I could also use a sermon. Something about equanimity would be helpful right now; I feel like I'm fighting the river.
  5. Hmmm . . .
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    08 Jul '08 06:34
    Originally posted by bbarr
    The Good Reverend's job is a spiritual crucible. I can only hope that when it is time for my loved ones to pass, they have somebody like Kirk to be present with them. I could also use a sermon. Something about equanimity would be helpful right now; I feel like I'm fighting the river.
    All I can say is—

    Wow, man...

    Brave words they were, my last ones to you... And still here I am... (And you have more than once also been that crucible, by the way.) I have in front of me here (really, no artifice!) Bly’s Kabir translations. Still...

    Equanimity... Yeah...

    Am a bit gone to the Brandy tonight...

    Funny how one can know/have known the truth ( the ineffable real), and still struggle against the current of that “river”...

    Will shut up now. Be well, my dear friend.
  6. Donationkirksey957
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    08 Jul '08 09:42
    I am humbled by all. I truly am. I will write a meditation of sorts, but not a formal sermon. Give me a few days to let something percalate and let the Spirit do its work. Actually. I think I know what the title will be. "Where's My Moment of Grace?"
  7. Hmmm . . .
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    08 Jul '08 17:32
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    I am humbled by all. I truly am. I will write a meditation of sorts, but not a formal sermon. Give me a few days to let something percalate and let the Spirit do its work. Actually. I think I know what the title will be. "Where's My Moment of Grace?"
    Thanks. I'll check back later this week, or next... As I say, take your time. I appreciate it...
  8. Donationkirksey957
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    13 Jul '08 01:311 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Just need a sermon, Rev. Your choice of text. Don’t blow me off: I’m dead serious. Take your time...

    _____________________________________

    Note: For those who don’t know, though I generally bill myself as a Zennist, Kirk is as close as I’ve got these days to a spiritual mentor; no kidding. For those that question his doctrinal credentials—etc., ...[text shortened]... I could be more specific, I would. I know that’s not fair. But there it is. For all to see...
    “Where’s My Moment of Grace?”

    Text: Matthew 15:21-28
    21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David, my daughter is severly possessed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying “Send her away, for she is crying after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him saying, “Lord help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat crumbs from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.


    Several days ago I was listening to a musician reflect on his observations of children when they are very young. I found his perspective to be beautiful and somewhat sad at the same time. He said children have a unique gift in that they have a large window to view the grace of life through. Yet, as they get older that window of grace is such that it gets smaller as the events of life somehow make that view shrink in size to the point where as grown-ups grace doesn’t seem to come naturally or easily. I could easily have chosen the passage where Jesus says “Except you become as little children” as our text, but was more interested in the perspective at the other end of life. That time in life, often shared in these forums, where life, to put it bluntly, is damn hard. That “window of grace” seems to be a mere peep hole at best. I am afraid that if you live long enough you will need “glasses.”

    Our passage today is one of the most difficult to understand in the teachings of Jesus. Too often this passage has been explained as Jesus testing this woman so her faith would be “better.” She presents herself as a sincere woman, yet Jesus responds in a way that makes that window of grace a bit smaller for her. Where was the interest as when Jesus said “who touched me”? Where was the hope of “cast your net on the other side”? Where was the receiving of the likes of Zacheus? For whatever reason, we don’t find it. Instead we find a man who seems distracted and ,at the very least, in touch with the prejudices of his day. We do this passage a disservice to deny this dynamic. But as people of faith who are on a journey, there is no need to fear the outcome of what we may find in this passage. Warts and all, let’s take a look into the mirror of this passage.

    I want to suggest that this passage is about more than just a Canaanite woman who won’t let go of Jesus. There are essentially three characters and stories in this passage. A Canaanite woman who knows desparation. Jesus, described by this woman as the “Son of David”. And finally, let’s not forget the disciples. All three are integral to this story and I am operating on the belief that there is a little of all three of them in each one of us.

    Let’s begin with the Canaanite woman. Like each one of us has been at some point in our lives, she is a wounded woman. Most interestingly, she breaks the rules of that culture and approaches Jesus on her own. There is no daddy to advocate for the demon possessed child. We can speculate that he had enough of the kid. Had enough of the hystrionics of his wife. He’s not there and she decides to take a risk because she cares more for her child than social conformity. She doesn’t play it safe. She’s a woman and she’s a foreigner and she has all the baggage that in today’s world we would associate with a poor single welfare mother who is raising an autistic kid in the projects. Who wants to be bothered with this kind of train wreck?

    Yet, this woman is what we would call “street smart.” Have you ever known someone who has had a life of great adversity and out of that learned to see things differently and speak them differently. This was one such woman. She was out of necessity a woman who learned to verbally sparr and in this case it helped to make her case.

    Jesus says in the gospel to “seek and you will find, ask and it shall be given”. This passage makes that a little more difficult to believe. And I think that is why this woman is so important in the Gospels. She, like us, doesn’t find the business of getting what you want in life easy. She has to keep coming back into a world that is scarce on the commodity of grace. She’s tried before. She has probably gone to various fortune tellers and sooth sayers and goes home everyday to this misfit wondering why nothing changes. If you have a spouse that you love who can’t give up the drugs, you know what this is like. If you go for job interview after job interview and come to an identity of being a professional leper, you know what that is like. If you have a kid who is limited for whatever reason and you know you are powerless to make life into a Disney movie, you know what that is like. For all of you, this woman could be your patron saint. Perhaps for us, we can identify with her courage in the face of a bad reality and her tenacity to go face to face with obstacles even when it may be “the Son of David.”

    And now on to “the Son of David.” What in the world was he thinking.? I think Jesus might have been tired. The passage begins with him “withdrawing.” I can imagine that on some level Jesus may have been like us in this respect. Have you ever felt that there was just so much of yourself to go around? As I said earlier, this passage presents some problems for us as we look at Jesus’ interactions. Clearly full of irritation and prejudice. Is it too much for us to consider that Jesus was a product of his time? What if we take the risk and see the possibility that Jesus “grew in faith”.? We would naturally say that he grew in faith as he was not the same man at the end of his life as he was as a child. Would this be something for us to aspire to? Is there anything to be gained from this “scaling down” of Jesus? I’m sure that there are many people of faith who are offended by the idea of Jesus “growing in faith”. Perhaps it means he isn’t “perfect” or that he is not omniscient.

    But for us today, we may have to simply walk away from this passage with questions and challenges. The Caananite woman is the heroine of the story, not Jesus. But for today, I give the Son of David the understanding that it is indeed hard to be around needy, dependent people. Who cannot identify with this personal limitation?

    And finally, let’s address the final characters in our story. The disciples, who in this passage present themselves as that “club of conformity.” It’s an “all boys’ club” and what in the world is this woman doing here. As you will recall, this was not the first time the disciples had trouble with the club being defiled. They want her sent away. They are annoyed with her. Can’t we have a moment’s peace. I can relate to them. There are times when I’d rather not get involved. I’d rather be silent. I’d rather let others take on the burden of change and healing. I like my comfort zone.

    A few years ago I moved to a very rural area and was surrounded by people who were much like this Caananite woman. They were very clear with their life problems. One of my daughters brought home several friends who all had a variety of problems. At first I felt a little smothered and invaded. Yet, I also learned that there was no strong male figure in any of these little girls’ lives. It was only natural I guess that they felt like our home was their home. I also learned that many of her friends didn’t eat well. They came to our house hungry. When I would ask them what they would like to eat and would cook for them, they were amazed. This was one of those situations where I felt “fed.” I had dto learn to put aside my irritation of my space being invaded and look at something bigger.

    So where is our moment of grace? I can tell you the window of grace may get smaller as we get older, but we are also entrusted to have a role in the “window of grace” as we get older. I can no longer be a participant in a culture of collective indifference. I must be a risk taker like this woman. I must be able to take my inventory of “bad baggage” as Jesus did in this story. And I must also acknowledge my limitations and find a community to have that story come to life in new and creative ways. Yes, the window gets smaller and the efforts to make grace happen seem harder, but our story ends with the words “be it done for you as you desire.”

    May this be the hope that we live for and struggle with.
  9. Joined
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    13 Jul '08 06:14
    A, a passage that gets little time on the pulpit. Many preachers have difficulty dealing with the good news of this passage and the good reverend has done an outstanding job here with his interpretation.

    This is one of my favorite passages. It shows us a very human side of Jesus. He is indeed tired from having done a full amount of preaching in front of crowds and it looks to me like he's trying to get away and take a breather. Was this woman in the crowd? It's hard to say but she seems to have heard something of Jesus if indeed she has not heard it firsthand, because she goes to great lengths to seek him out.

    This is one instance where Jesus is not at his best behavior. When she asks for help he's rather curt with her and it's not a coincidence that he's comparing her to a dog. A listener or reader of long ago would have thought nothing of it but to our modern ears it can cause us some distress to hear Jesus insinuate that she's a bitch that shouldn't be there. Before anyone gets their buns in a pinch about this remark, remember that this wasn't an account written for you in your time. Understand that women of the time were thought of and treated far worse than Jesus appears to be treating her.

    So Jesus compares her to a dog; what does she do? Like so many women of the Bible, she takes the high ground. She in effect reminds Jesus and says in so many words that what he preaches and the spirituality he offers doesn't care if he's tired or not. He has a spiritual duty and he risks being a hypocrite - just as he is insinuating that she's a dog, she in insinuating that he's a hypocrite if he's only going to do his ministry at his convenience. Just as Jesus' words have layers of depth to them, so do the words of the Caananite woman.

    Jesus is no hypocrite. He recognizes the truth of what has been said to him even as it is in the form of a mild admonishment. He immediately does as he has been asked. What Jesus does is quite remarkable, in that most of us would have a negative reaction if the truth of our attitude is pointed out to us. Jesus does a complete 180 and seems to welcome the reminder of the woman. Perhaps that's what he needed to hear at that particular moment! He seems to relish in the reminder and it would seem to give him a second wind as he casts out a demon.

    Again, a remarkable account with so very much in it.
  10. SEMO
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    13 Jul '08 16:181 edit
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    “Where’s My Moment of Grace?”

    Text: Matthew 15:21-28
    21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David, my daughter is severly possessed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his di ...[text shortened]... “be it done for you as you desire.”

    May this be the hope that we live for and struggle with.
    Wow, I have never seen such twisting of the Word. You do a lot of assumptions in your 'meditations'. Very intresting though, I just read over Matthew again and was going to do a post on this very passage myself.

    The passage you used is about a Gentile woman who is not an Israelite. While Jesus was here he was teaching only Israelites, hence him not answering her. Do you remember that the disciples were commanded not to preach to the Gentiles because there would be one who was ordained to do so(Paul). However, the woman had heard of Jesus' teachings also, that is where the crumbs come from. The bread(Gospel) is for the Children(Israel) and the crumbs are parts of the Gospel that the woman had heard. The disciples wanted to send her away because they knew she was not an Israelite. She had faith because of what she had heard even if it was only parts of the Gospel, that is why Jesus healed her daughter.

    Mat 15:21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
    Mat 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
    Mat 15:23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
    Mat 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
    Mat 15:25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
    Mat 15:26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.
    Mat 15:27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.

    Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

    There is always a reason why something is in scripture and the answers are there also. There is no need to do any assumptions.
  11. SEMO
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    13 Jul '08 16:26
    Originally posted by Badwater
    A, a passage that gets little time on the pulpit. Many preachers have difficulty dealing with the good news of this passage and the good reverend has done an outstanding job here with his interpretation.

    This is one of my favorite passages. It shows us a very human side of Jesus. He is indeed tired from having done a full amount of preaching in front of ...[text shortened]... as he casts out a demon.

    Again, a remarkable account with so very much in it.
    She was not refered to as a dog because she was a woman, she was refered to a dog because she was not one of the Israelites but a Gentile.
  12. Joined
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    13 Jul '08 18:08
    Originally posted by pritybetta
    She was not refered to as a dog because she was a woman, she was refered to a dog because she was not one of the Israelites but a Gentile.
    Your 'interpretation' leaves much to be desired. Jesus taught to more than just the Israelites. I'm not going to comment further because you just don't get it. Heck, I'm not sure why you're even here - you don't play chess! Why are you even here? You don't say anything that's the least bit insightful to me, at all. At least I enjoy what some of the athiests have to say, because they are intelligent, well-reasoned, and insightful. I differ from them on their premise but I respect what they have to say, and the bottom line is that I have a connection with them because at least they play chess!

    So that's it, unless you're saying something fantastically ignorant or grossly in error as you have before, I'm ignoring you.
  13. SEMO
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    13 Jul '08 18:29
    Originally posted by Badwater
    Your 'interpretation' leaves much to be desired. Jesus taught to more than just the Israelites. I'm not going to comment further because you just don't get it. Heck, I'm not sure why you're even here - you don't play chess! Why are you even here? You don't say anything that's the least bit insightful to me, at all. At least I enjoy what some of the athiests ...[text shortened]... ing fantastically ignorant or grossly in error as you have before, I'm ignoring you.
    You say we have nothing in common? I see your avatar you have and wonder 'He must like to shoot and pratice with guns too". I think we have more in common than you think. 😉
  14. Donationkirksey957
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    13 Jul '08 20:13
    Originally posted by pritybetta
    Wow, I have never seen such twisting of the Word. You do a lot of assumptions in your 'meditations'. Very intresting though, I just read over Matthew again and was going to do a post on this very passage myself.

    The passage you used is about a Gentile woman who is not an Israelite. While Jesus was here he was teaching only Israelites, hence him not an ...[text shortened]... ing is in scripture and the answers are there also. There is no need to do any assumptions.
    When we have another sermon competition here soon, may I recruit you as one of the judges? It is an excellent opportunity to hear a variety of sermons and admonish those who don't seem to get it.
  15. SEMO
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    13 Jul '08 21:06
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    When we have another sermon competition here soon, may I recruit you as one of the judges? It is an excellent opportunity to hear a variety of sermons and admonish those who don't seem to get it.
    Do you mean on here? I am not sure I am worthy of such a postion. I try and show people what the Word says and try not to read anything into it that would change it's true meaning. I did not mean to make you look bad or anything. Sorry if I did, or if I affended you. I never mean to do so, I just have very strong views when it comes the the Lord and his Word.
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