Are you ever curious about the scripture texts that become the foundation for the sermons that Pastor Linda preaches? Every Sunday morning, at 9:00 a.m. a few Central folk gather together to study the Bible together, specifically focusing on the text from which Pastor Linda will be preaching that day. Everyone is welcome to join us. We are adding another opportunity to reflect on those texts, each week, online. Three or four different Central members will contribute a short reflection on an upcoming sermon text. You are invited to read the text and their reflections and then add your own voice to the conversation, if you wish. The conversation will assist Pastor Linda in her sermon preparation and may help all of us to hear the Spirit speaking more clearly though the text and the preacher’s sermon. You may comment on the scripture reading or reply to an existing comment.

Matthew 15:10-28 NRSV

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, August 20, 2017: Matthew 15:10-28

 15:10 Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, "Listen and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles." 12 Then the disciples approached and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?" 13 He answered, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit." 15 But Peter said to him, "Explain this parable to us." 16 Then he said, "Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. 19 For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile."

15:21 Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon." 23 But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, "Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us." 24 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." 26 He answered, "It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." 27 She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." 28 Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed instantly.