My local pastors gathering talks about the lectionary a week early, and so last week I came up with the core of my message and my sermon title.
Jesus tells the woman he can’t help her because he has a mission… which the text says she isn’t offended by, but simply responds… yeah, but even the dogs get crumbs don’t they?
My translation: Throw me a bone here Jesus!
additional throughts from my weekly roundtable pulpit group:
1) There are always leftovers and crumbs. So as Jesus set about his mission to preach “only” to the lost sheep of Israel – there were bound to be people evesdropping and picking up the leftover pieces along the way.
2) lots of thoughts about the desperation of the woman with the possessed daughter. We talked a lot about parents today who have problematic children – either because they are mentally ill, handicapped, or simply troublemakers. The notion that God never gives us more than we can handle came up – but it seems as this woman is at the end of her rope. She needs God’s help to keep going.
3) we have no idea what Jesus was thinking. And we can’t put words into his head. So from the persepective of the disciples and the woman, they at least saw a “changed” Jesus – and certainly the disciples had the rug pulled out from under them.
4) we talked about having one mission and one purpose to focus on – it clarifies and allows you to really make an impact in one area. But there will be spillover as you work, “crumbs” that will appeal to others. Ironically, you may end up feeding the “crumby” people more than those you intended to (especially if the children keep throwing their food on the floor!…. aka Israel rejecting Jesus)