Showing posts from August, 2020

My House of All Peoples

  sermon delivered August 16, 2020 as Senior Pastor of the Congregational Church of Plainville The Irish novelist and poet James Joyce, author of the masterpiece Ulysses, in 1939 wrote this: “For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal.” In 1965, from a jail in Birmingham, Dr. Martin Luther King wrote these famous words: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Sometime in the 8 th century BCE, a prophet named Isaiah, one of the greatest prophets of his people and of all peoples, wrote these words in the moment of God’s inspiriting him: “7 …my house shall be called a house of prayer     for all peoples. 8  Thus says the Lord God,     who gathers the outcasts of Israel.”   W

Did Jesus Really Refer to Gentiles as ‘Dogs’?

  excerpted from  A Life Lived & Laid Down for Friends And going out Jesus departed from there into the regions of Tyre and Sidon. And look: A Canaanite woman from those bounds came forward and cried out, saying, “Have mercy upon me, Lord, son of David, my daughter is badly demon-possessed.” But he answered not a word to her. And, approaching, his disciples implored him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out behind us.” But in reply he said, “I was not sent forth except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and prostrated herself to him, saying, “Lord, help me.” But in reply he said, “It is not a good thing to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord; for the dogs also eat, from the crumbs that fall from their masters’ tables.” Then in reply Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; as you desire, so let it happen to you.” And her daughter was healed from that hour. (Matthew 15:21–28) The story begins with Jesus