All is not quite as it seems when it comes to Faith
Mark 7: 24-30 (NIV)
24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”
30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
I am not sure that Jesus, a man of his time, would altogether approve, but at the time of writing we have four and a half dogs staying in our house. Two years ago we had just two.
By way of explanation, one is young and only a guest. In the coming days she will go home to her rightful place. Another is old — so old indeed that we thought by now she too might have gone to her… well, you get the drift!
And so it was that nearly two years ago, before it became all the rage, someone in our house had the bright if somewhat presumptuous idea that we (with the cooperation of dog number Two) should breed a replacement. As it turned out, gorgeous though dog number Three may be, we didn’t actually need a replacement, and neither had we banked on the ‘Point Five puppy’ surviving — albeit with one eye and a few other wondrous imperfections. We call her Faith.
Faith in action has become, for all of us, and all who witness it, a truly joyous thing. It is like watching a Shetland pony adopting the air of a Clydesdale — she is indomitable. Her resilience may be due to the fact that no-one has told her that she is only little — or when we have, she has not listened.
It was faith, he would say with a capital ‘F’, that caught the eye of Jesus on the day he met the Phoenician woman — a faith that melted his heart and transformed the life of a thankful family.
Lord Jesus Christ
As we bring before you the many concerns we have —
for the Church; for the world; and for ourselves;
grant us the humility, the faith, and the persistence
of that woman from Syrian Phoenicia.
And so may we experience, as she did,
an abundant outpouring of your grace