(Fr John is on vacation and will try to continue weekly Youtube services)
The readings are about faith. Faith is what holds us together in difficult times. Faith gives us the hope we need to carry on. It is very relevant to our present time. Joseph, the Cannanite woman and the apostle Paul all had faith that helped them get through difficult times. I found the Readings comforting after being reminded of the terrible corruption in American society watching a program on Hillary Clinton.
1. Joseph believed his hardship was God’s Plan
In Genesis 45 he reveals his identity to his brothers, forgives them for the hardship they caused and explains how God is using him to “preserve you as a remnant on earth” (v. 7):
· This reminds us to always take the long view
2. Cannanite woman put her faith in Jesus
This is a shocking dialogue. Jesus tells her that her people are “dogs”. She is not put off. She is desperate and determined. She rebukes Jesus. She reminds Jesus that a loving master lets crumbs of food fall on the floor for his dogs. She is amazing – she clearly knows who Jesus is as divine Saviour.
· Jesus was testing her as God tests all of us through adversity.
· Story is different because her affliction involves the demonic
· We don’t like to hear about the demonic – it is frightening
· Many teachers avoid this by dismissing the demonic as cultural “superstition”
· True that the culture did assume many things they could not understand were demonic
· Culture was also more informed about the demonic because
· Many people had personally experienced things that clearly were demonic
· Bible is very careful to distinguish between natural sickness and supernatural demonic oppression
· Healing ministry includes the physical and the super-natural sometimes including demonic oppression
· Jesus power over the demonic authenticated His claim to divinity
3. Paul (Romans 11.1-2,29-32) gave me great comfort
I was very distressed by the Hillary biography and the current breakdown in American and Canadian political culture. Governments are corrupt and incompetent, the economy is broken and people are dying.
· Paul explains this is God’s plan – its normal
· It is this way so all people must come to Jesus for forgiveness and freedom from the bondage of sin
· Why we pray every day:
LORD JESUS DELIVER US FROM EVIL!!
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