PASTOR BRAD'S PAGE
August 20, 2017
In our gospel lesson this wk. (Matthew 15:21-28), on his third attempt to escape the crowds, Jesus encounters a Canaanite woman shouting at him in search of healing for her possessed daughter. His initial reaction is to ignore her, then he tries to dismiss her, then he insults, then when he finally listens to her, he changes his mind and heals her daughter.
Jesus behavior is uncharacteristically rude and harsh, but maybe it's supposed to be. He has just finished telling the scribes and Pharisees that it is what comes out of the mouth that contaminates, not what goes in. Maybe this is his way of illustrating his point.
Ignoring this woman's desperate plea, dismissing this woman as unworthy and insulting her, when all she wants is for her daughter to have the opportunity to be treated like everyone else is un-Christ-like behavior. Maybe this is his point, as shocked as we are to see that kind of behavior from Jesus; he is equally shocked to see that kind of behavior from us. Amen.
Rev. Bradley A. Walmer,
a 2008 graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary, where he received his Master of Divinity degree and was awarded the 2008 Rev. Delores Berry prize for preaching. He was ordained into Christian ministry by the Lebanon Association of the Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ on June 1, 2008. Prior to beginning his pastorate here at New Covenant on August 1, 2015, he served as the pastor of St. Paul’s Summer Hill UCC in Auburn, Pa (located southeast of Pottsville, PA).
Pastor Brad and his wife Michelle were born and raised in Lebanon County and now reside in the area with their dog, Chloe.