Students sitting outside Bockman
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Thursday, September 03, 2015

Moxie. The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines moxie as: energy, pep, courage, determination. Moxie is the word that comes to mind when I think of the Syrophoenician woman. As a woman and a foreigner she had to have some serious moxie to go up to Jesus and argue him into healing her daughter.

Why he argued with her is a bit of a mystery to me. Was he testing her? If it was a test, she passed the test with flying colors. She was clever, creative and courageous for the sake of her daughter and it worked.

What an interesting way to look at our vocational call to be Christians in the world. We are the ones who are called, in spite of our lack of qualifications, to be clever, creative and courageous for the sake of others. We are called and empowered to have moxie.

Gracious God, let me be like that Syrophoenician woman today. Amid my daily activities and responsibilities, amid the stress of life, give me moxie so that, on your behalf, I can be clever, creative and courageous today. Amen.

Tim and Chamie Delkeskamp
Ascension Lutheran, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Master of Divinity , 1998

Mark 7:24-37 (NRSV)

24 From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice,
25 but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet.
26 Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
27 He said to her, "Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs."
28 But she answered him, "Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."
29 Then he said to her, "For saying that, you may go--the demon has left your daughter."
30 So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis.
32 They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him.
33 He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue.
34 Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened."
35 And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.
36 Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.
37 They were astounded beyond measure, saying, "He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak."

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.