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Thursday, September 06, 2018

Next Day

When I was young, the acronym WWJD was very popular. "What would Jesus do?" was supposed to challenge me to act with love and kindness, but I always felt like it was a way to make me feel bad when I wasn't the "Perfect Christian." You know the kind--the people who never get upset, who never use bad language, who don't get sassy when they're frustrated or "hangry." I was never that person. I lean heavily on sarcasm and am easily frustrated. I figured Jesus would reject me for being such a person.

But when the Syrophoenician woman interacts with Jesus, she doesn't have a perfect faith. She isn't reverent or quiet or submissive. She's quick-witted, and a bit of a smart aleck. And what does Jesus do? Heals her daughter! Perhaps Jesus doesn't judge us as harshly as we fear. And I'm delighted in a God who can deal with a little sassiness or spunk!

God of the surly and frustrated, we ask you to give us patience and peace in our daily lives. When we fall short, help us to know we are forgiven, and that you can love us even when we aren't at our kindest. Amen.

Stefanie Fauth, '15
Associate Pastor of Faith Formation, Redeemer Lutheran Church, White Bear Lake, Minn.

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.