today’s Gospel we hear Jesus praise the “great” faith of a Canaanite
who begs Jesus to cure her daughter. The object of this praise is
perhaps surprising. She is a woman and a Canaanite, and thus doubly
unacceptable to respectable Jews (Canaan and Israel were ancient
focus on faith appears deliberate. Mark’s parallel story makes no
mention of faith (7:24-30). In Matthew, the Canaanite’s “great” faith
invites comparison with last week’s Gospel reading, when Jesus gently
chided Peter for his “little faith”, after Peter faltered when he tried
to walk on water (14:22-33).
But Matthew doesn’t tell us why
this woman’s faith is great. Some commentators think it is because of
her persistence in the face of rejection. Some see it in her belief
that God’s mercy extends beyond Israel. Perhaps it is her trust that
mere metaphorical crumbs from the Israelite’s table are enough to save
her daughter. It could be the deference she shows Jesus, kneeling and
addressing him as “Lord” and “Son of David”, a Messianic title. Or, it
could be the opposite – her bold impertinence in answering Jesus back
with a witty play on his own words.
gives us a multilayered portrait of faith, not a rigid formula defining
its quality and quantity. Though we might contrast the woman’s “great”
faith with Peter’s “little” faith, perhaps the point is that we don’t
always find faith where we expect.
LENT STUDY 2017
Our book will be Dethroning Mammon: Making Money Serve Grace by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. Sign
up sheet in foyer, you can buy a hard copy for $13, or get a
kindle/electronic version for about $7 (the US Amazon site is often
cheapest.)The study group will meet on Tuesday evenings at 7pm in the Holland Room, starting on 7th March.
ADVENT STUDY 2016 with Meditation
Short discussion on weekly readings followed by meditation each Wednesday at 7pm in the Holland Room.
LENT STUDY 2016
Our weekly LENT study will begin in the Holland Room at 7pm, Wednesday 17th February. We will be reading Reflections for Lent 2016
by Paula Gooder, Andrew Davison, Martyn Percy and Steven Croft. Copies
of the book will be available from the office for $16.50, or you can
buy the Kindle edition from Amazon for about $5. Please sign up in the
foyer if you would like a copy of the book and/or would like to attend
the study group.
ADVENT STUDY 2015
This year we will read Richard Rohr’s Preparing for Christmas: Daily Meditations for Advent.
We will meet on Wednesday evenings in the Holland Room at 7pm, starting on
Wednesday 2nd December.
sign up on the sheet in the foyer if you would like a book, and would
like to attend the study meetings. A hard copy of the book costs
$12, or you can download it from Amazon for kindle if you prefer for
PAST STUDY GROUPS:
LENT STUDY 2015
Lent study this year will be on Wednesdays at 7pm in the Holland Room, beginning 25th February 2015 (the Wednesday after Ash Wednesday). We will be reading Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter by various authors, the companion book to Watch for the Light, which we read during Advent.
ADVENT STUDY 2014
Our Advent study will use Watch for the Light,
a collecting of daily readings by authors including Henri Nouwen, T. S.
Eliot, Thomas Merton, John Donne, C. S. Lewis, Dorothy Day, Meister
Eckhart, Sylvia Plath and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Please sign up in the foyer to order the book ($20), and indicate if
you will attend the study group, which will meet at 7pm on Tuesdays
during Advent (starting 2nd December.)
SEPTEMBER BOOKCLUB 2013
We will be reading Richard Rohr’s
Falling Upward: A Spirituality for
the two halves of life.
are available to reflect on your reading using the
study journal. Contact the office and we can email
these to you.
discuss the book at a bring and share dinner on
Thursday September 19th at 7pm.
AUGUST BOOKCLUB 2014
We will be discussing Marcus J Borg's novel Putting Away Childish Things on Thursday 7pm 14th August at a bring and share supper in the hall