He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”
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We are a tribal lot. We gather in our groups. We embrace the identity. The tension and the cost of that tribaling is in how we interact and speak about other tribes. There are times when what is most important cuts across the tribal boundaries. The woman in this story knew that she was in another tribe's house, but her daughter was sick and she had heard that this Jesus might help her. It was a risk worth taking. It was a line worth crossing. Jesus statements seem harsh, but imagine that he is mocking the standard "our tribe is better than your tribe" posturing knowing the woman's faith would not be deterred. She acknowledges the tribal slur and embraces it as she is fixed on the love for her daughter and the authority of Jesus. Love is not the invention of or owned by any one tribe. Love cannot be hoarded or withheld without distorting the soul of those who only love their own.
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Let there be peace, Lord, and let it begin with me. Amen.