"Practically Divine" - Week 4

Read: Mark 7: 24-30

Has anyone ever felt disoriented before? The word means “to feel confused, having lost one’s sense of direction.”

I cannot think of a better word to describe the last few years and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been so many different responses, and I can’t really blame anyone for any of them. Our world was struck in a way that most of us never could have expected. Disorientation may be the one thing we all have in common right now.

Today, while reading our passage in Mark, I felt a little disoriented, or confused, again. I read in several different translations, and I just have trouble getting over the fact that Jesus called the hurting Phoenician woman’s daughter a “dog.” I never expected to hear Jesus name-calling.

Father Mike did teach me that the Greek word for “dogs” in this passage is the word for pets. I guess it does make it a little better that Jesus didn’t call the little girl any old street dog but someone’s dear pet. However, it still doesn’t sit well.

I read in a commentary, though, that Jesus used this terminology to illustrate a picture. He came and brought a Gospel rescue first to the Jews. Then, that salvation would spread to the world. He wasn’t calling this girl an animal, He was simply demonstrating that there is an order to Jesus’ mission. The provision (bread) of healing and casting out demons had to be given first to the Jews. Since the woman understood this, received His explanation with humility, but continued to ask for healing, Jesus honored her faith. He healed her daughter without even going to her.

Did you know our God is a God of complete order? Of course you know that! We all know that in our heads. But, when the world falls apart and a crazy virus transforms life as we know it, nothing feels orderly. Chaos seems to rule, and our response is disorientation.

But, it doesn’t have to be!

We can hear and see the reality all around us and choose to speak in opposing declaration just like the Phoenician woman. We can cry out to Jesus and expect Him to answer.

In what ways are you feeling confused and disoriented today? Be honest! Your reading has been short, because I would love for our prayer time to be long. Spend as much time as you need sitting with Jesus in honest declaration. Speak or write what is confusing to you right now. Ask Him to heal, to guide, to open doors, to close doors, or to explain. Then, sit with expectancy. The same God that spoke order into the chaos at creation is living and active today. And, He lives inside of you and me.

God, in so many ways, the pandemic has ushered in a sense of confusion. We understand how the world can live in confusion apart from Christ. But, we are noticing a constant state of disorientation among Your Church. We confess that we fall into that group at times. Today, in supernatural ways, will You open our eyes to our places of disorientation and confusion? Will You show us how we are reacting out of unknowing and chaos rather than trusting Your hand of sovereign rule? Help us to see more clearly and then to act more faithfully. Amen.