9th September 2018

Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23

What’s in a name?

  • Most people are interested in their name.
  • How was it chosen?
  • What does it mean?
  • Does it have a family significance?
  • Sometimes our name sums up the hopes of our parents for us.
  • It is significant throughout our lives.
  • It also has a means of establishing who we are in relation to others.
  • Scripture understand this and take it further.
  • It brings together our names and how we treat the poorest amongst us.
  • Our naming also incurs what we bring to it.
  • How we are known to others is determined by our own actions, attitudes and disposition.
  • Israel was an honor-and-shame society.
  • Personal identity was recognised and respected.
  • We protect it at all costs.
  • Here Proverbs encourages us in looking at our choices related to economic justice and the mercy which we show others.
  • We reap what we sow… The Lord is the maker of all…. He blesses those who are generous…. etc etc
  • Our name is chosen in part by the how we relate to the nameless in our society.

Mark 7:24-37

Persistent love

  • Remember the time you pestered parents for something you ‘always wanted’.
  • Have you ever pestered God in the same way?
  • In this story:
                      The mother is a gentile.
                      The daughter is unclean.
                      She wants something.
                      Jesus is doing something else.  He is exhausted and he wants to be ALONE.
  • His response to her request – “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and feed it to the dogs.”
  • As stunning as this is, her reply is even more so.
  • She is fighting for her daughter’s life and she faces God square on.
  • Jesus is stunned too.
  • What thoughts went through his head?
  • What do you value so much you would face him square on?
  • This goes far deeper than our petty wants, this goes to the depths of our being.

James 2:1-10, 14-17

Living the dream

 1.  Equality for all.

When a community lives in this way the miraculous happens for all. It needs us to step out in faith and live outside our comfort zone.

2. Live according to the law.

All of God’s Law is of equal importance. To break one even the smallest is just as significant as breaking the greatest.

3. Living faith

A dead faith may lead to salvation. A living faith adds joy and excitement. Faith alone is dead. A living faith is a joy to share.

Personal reflection
When you speak your name, how does your inner being react?
When your name is spoken, how do others respond?