Matthew 15:25-28 – But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." And he answered, "It is not right to take the children's bread 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, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly. (ESV)
I am the main bread-slicer in our house. Having returned from a shopping trip up the road with an uncut loaf, I thought that a bit of pro-active slicing would be in order, to save the toaster from some of the family's exaggerated wedges that are rammed into it and bulge out of the top. To have enough for the day's quota of toast and sandwiches, I cut up two-thirds of the loaf into slices that would easily fit in the toaster.
With no one else about, it fell to me to clear up the resultant bread crumbs. Most household chores are cyclical — not that I mind — but I pondered the inevitability of here we go again, again, and faced another of the tiny-but-never-ending household tasks to clean up, like the kitchen. I looked at the collection of soft new wholemeal beads of bread on the work surface and thought, Waste not, want not. So I scooped up some of the fresh breadcrumbs and ate them. As I surveyed the worktop, into my head dropped the story of the Gentile Syrophoenician woman with Jesus in today's verses.
In her discourse with Jesus, she was desperate, but determined. She knew in her heart that He was special. According to the current chatter, this Jesus was able to bring healing to her little girl. By an act of faith, honour, and wisdom, her request was heard by Him and answered.
It made me wonder what we might miss from God, just because we let His gifts for us drop to the floor, as we do the same routines with God unbidden into them, like crumbs left ungathered.
All those beads of God's wisdom, power, and influence are spread around, waiting for us to gather them up, to receive them, to depend on them, and to apply them as a saving grace or as a promise of hope for us to take into the world today.
So where is God today, when we are doing the ordinary and repetitive tasks of the day? Right with us, as He is always, waiting to be asked. But what gifts have we let fall to the floor, maybe because we have not had the thought to ask and receive?
Romans 12:5-8 – So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. (ESV)
Prayer: Lord, we know that You are with us always, even in the humdrum chores of life. Please open our eyes and remind us Who it is that we are serving, so that our eyes are set on You and not on the floor. May we know the joy of the Lord as we carry out our tasks today. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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