From the Rev. Spencer Brown
Matthew 15:10-28 NRSV
It’s difficult to come into a story mid-sentence. Hearing scripture on Sundays and (hopefully) every day during Morning Prayer offered by the Cathedral of St. John, we come into a story mid-sentence. Thankfully, the story is familiar to most of us. It’s a story of adventure, intrigue, danger, love, heartbreak, and unpredictable twists and turns. The story of faith is deliciously complex. It’s a real page-turner, if we were to read it as a mere story.
The faith story of the Cathedral of St. John could fill volumes, but we’re not here to look back on a story that’s happened. Christ calls us together in community to write, compose, craft, and design. It’s into this tale that Lucas and I have been called. We follow the call of adventure to join you all, a Church dispersed, to live into the faith of the Canaanite woman. A faith so strong that it annoyed Jesus’ followers, those poor disciples who just don’t “get it.” As a native okie, I’m compelled to say, “bless their hearts.”
The Canaanite woman screamed for Christ to hear her. The disciples (bless their hearts) didn’t understand and wanted her to be sent on her way. She persisted and knelt before Jesus. Her faith poured out of her and Jesus declared her faith enough. Her wisdom spoke of her heart and her story. Her screams were of love, compassion, and desire for healing. She was undefiled and Christ affirmed her faith.
It’s easy to hear the story of the Canaanite woman and conclude that, if we have enough faith, anything is possible. That’s true, and yet only part of the story. The Canaanite woman’s screams, and her radical love for her daughter demonstrate the unbridled passion of her heart. Jesus condemns those who are defiled for what comes out of their mouths. The Canaanite woman’s heart, faith, and actions are an example of following the teaching of Christ.
We’re in the midst of turmoil and chaos, and our story is still being written. I have been called to join you in this adventure. Together we will follow the wisdom of the Canaanite woman and loudly proclaim radical love. This radical love is what we are called to nurture, grow, and proclaim. The end of our story isn’t written, but the pages are bound and ready for us to continue our adventure. Radical love is what we will proclaim to one another and all creation to bring peace, justice, healing, and kindness. I am here to walk with you all on this adventure being composed. Great is our spoken, lived, tangible faith. Thanks be to God!