Monday, March 31, 2014

Morning Psalm: 89:1-18 | Evening Psalm: 89:19-52
Genesis 49:1-28 | 1 Corinthians 10:14—11:1 | Mark 7:24-37

“What did you give up for lent?” is a common refrain heard this time of year. My own answers to this question have included soda, facebook, video games, and even sports. I have often failed to stick with it, and wondered, “What is the point?”

In our gospel reading today, Mark gives us a positive example of faith from a Gentile, and it is not a mere intellectual enterprise. In spite of the woman’s social and cultural disadvantages, which we learn from Mark’s introduction of her, she comes to Jesus seeking healing for her daughter. Whatever we make of the exact implications of Jesus’ response in verse 27, it is clear that He is pulling these issues to the foreground.
 
In her response, she effectively owns those issues and confesses that Jesus is more than enough to overcome those hindrances.
 
As I come to this text, I am in the midst of reflecting on my first semester at Trinity. In many ways, it has been a trying semester. God has used difficulties to expose my own disadvantages and weaknesses. I sense God saying, “Will you own your ‘stuff’ and let me overcome it?”
 
This brings us back to Lent. Perhaps this is what the practice of “giving up” is about. We are invited to give up a convenience, a comfort food, a distraction, or any other of our self-medications long enough to allow God to expose our inner worlds with all its brokenness. Then to own our ‘stuff’ and confess with the Syrophoenician woman, “Yes Lord, but even the dogs eat the children’s crumbs” (v. 28).
 
Holy Spirit, give me courage this day to own my ‘stuff’ and trust that You are more than enough to provide or overcome.
 

  

Patrick Mentzer
MAR Student
Fairmont, WV

    

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