. . . Then he [Jesus] returned from the region of Tyre, . . . They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.
From sermon4kids.com: “These friends [of the deaf and mute man] cared for the man so much that they wanted him to see Jesus. We, too, can help our friends to know Jesus.”
Scripture: September 9, 2018 (Proper 18)—Isaiah 35:4–7a; James 2:1–10 (11–13), 14–17; Psalm 146; and Mark 7:24–37.
Collect: Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Reflection: Try to recall the first time in your life when you did not retreat in the face of opposition. How is your experience like that of the Syrophoenician woman putting her case to Jesus? Where in your life today is that same courage calling you to speak out? What could you do this week to take steps in that direction?
Sunday School—starts this week 9/9/18, at 9 am
Brain Food: This week’s lessons may be described in one word—liberation—from possession and illness and any other evil. Here’s a page of illustrations (by Moses Kumar) and commentary about Jesus’ liberation of us. Ephphatha!
Prayer from Vanderbilt University:
Lord God, friend of those in need,
your Son Jesus has untied our burdens
and healed our spirits.
We lift up the prayers of our hearts for those still burdened,
those seeking healing,
those in need within the church and the world.
The Gifts I Need
Do not pursue me
as though you were God.
The gift I need
is your hearing
and your heart.
~Thomas John Carlisle
Movies/Videos: “The Bone Collector” (1999), “Healing can happen when disease/disability remains”; “The Green Mile” (1999), “John Coffey (J.C.?) restores health and life”; “Patch Adams” (1998), “. . . heal the whole person, not the disease . . .”
Image “Liberation #10” by Moses Kumar
Sunday school begins this week. See you at 9 am in our room in the main building. We will introduce ourselves this week and get to know each other. We anticipate new people. See you then!