20 August 2023
Bible readings for today
Liturgical Colour: GREEN
Come Holy Spirit with new fire;
when our prayers seem to fail,
when we hear no voice nor any answer,
rouse us and light our way.
This we ask through Jesus Christ our Redeemer.
Haere mai e te Wairua Tapu, me he ahikā hou;
ki te kore e ū ā mātou īnoi,
ki te kore tōu reo e rangona, te whakahoki kōrero rānei,
whakaarahia mātou, whakamāramatia te huarahi ki a mātou.
E īnoi ai mātou i roto i a te Karaiti tō mātou Kaihoko.
The Faith of a Canaanite Woman (Matthew 15:10-28)
Intergenerational worship ideas from Intergen Australia - compiled by Chris Barnett
The story of Jesus and the Canaanite (or Syro-Phonecian) woman is one of those that tends to strike dread into the heart of the preacher. What do we do with this Jesus who seems to be acting so out of character with all he is and tells others to be? Join Rev. Michael, Bishop Kelvin, Rose and Rev. Anne from the Dunedin Diocese, as they puzzle out the story from some very different angles.
At first Jesus didn’t answer her, but she kept asking, risking being embarrassed, verbally abused or worse because of her faith that Jesus could help.
Finally Jesus told her that ‘It isn’t right to take food away from children and feed it to dogs.” This is quite important because Jewish people sometimes referred to non Jews as dogs as a kind of insult.
Yet even after this, the woman still persisted and replied that even dogs get the crumbs the fall from the table.
Then Jesus did what we would expect, he healed the daughter.
Although we today may not see this as remarkable, it would have been a big deal to the disciples because Jesus made two important statements with this act. One, he confirmed that he had been sent primarily for the Jewish people. But Jesus also showed that we need to break through walls such as Jew versus Non Jew.
A lesson for us today is perhaps to look at our own lives and pin point places that we may have been using differences with other people as an excuse for not getting to know them. If Jesus can do it, so can we.
Questions to talk about
Craft - giant celebration you card
What you need:
A large piece of paper, a large envelope, stamps, magazines/newspapers, felts and crayons, glue, scissors
What to do:
Game - my name is ... and I like ...
Preparation: you need a circle of chairs or cushions. There should be one less than the amount of people in the group
What to do: Have everyone sit on a chair including any leaders. The person who is running the game should stand in the middle of the circle. Explain that the person in the middle is to complete the following ‘My name is ……… and I ………….’. eg My name is Annette and I like the colour red.
If anyone sitting in the circle agrees with the statement (eg they like red too) then they must get up from their seat and swap places with someone else. The person in the middle has to try and get a seat. Who ever is left without a seat becomes the person in the middle and starts the next round by saying ‘My name is …….. and I ………..’
This is a great name game, and gets rid of lots of energy. It’s also a great game for getting to know people.
Joseph forgives his brothers (Genesis 45:1-15)
Much has happened in the story of Joseph between last week's reading, and today's. Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, and rose to become vizier, a high official and the second most powerful man in Egypt next to Pharaoh, where his presence and office caused Israel to leave Canaan and settle in Egypt. In today's story, Joseph forgives his brothers for their betrayal.
Saddleback Kids Saddleback Church have an animated video on their YouTube channel about 'Joseph Forgives' which is suitable for children to watch. This will be a useful video for this weeks Old Testament reading from Genesis.