Preparing for Worship on 8/16/2020

Reflection from Pastor Hoffman:

The voice of persistence.  The voice who demands attention.  The voice who will not be silenced.  The voice who will not compromise or settle.

The airwaves are filled with voices like this. Voices that are hailed as leaders, change-makers, even prophets – at least when we agree with them.  Voices that are considered difficult, outliers, even troublemakers when we don’t.

Scripture is also filled voices like this.  The voice of God is persistent – intent on loving God’s people no matter how many times we lose our way.  The voice of God demands attention – and gets it, whether through a burning bush, a swarm of locusts, or simply a still small voice.  The voice of God will not be silenced – even by death on a cross.  The voice of God will not compromise or settle for anything less than a world in which all people – and all of creation – is treated as God’s beloved.

In this week’s gospel, we hear this voice coming from a Canaanite woman talking to Jesus himself. Scholars debate the reason for this exchange.  Why did Jesus need to be urged and convinced to heal this woman’s daughter? I am compelled by the idea that Jesus himself was so fully human that even he needed to hear God’s voice through her, calling him back to his purpose. Jesus listened to the voice.  Do we?

There are so many persistent voices in our world right now, demanding our attention, refusing to be silenced, unwilling to compromise. They are not all the voice of God, but they can distract us, leaving us so frustrated and annoyed that we stop listening and don’t hear God’s voice at all.  But God is still speaking, calling us back to our purpose of sharing and showing God’s love with the world.

May God open our ears to the voices that matter, granting us the courage to be the voice of persistence when needed, to amplify the voices of those whose needs are silenced, and to settle for nothing less than a world where all are loved as God intended.

 ~ Pastor H.