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Our Advent Reflections, Day 15: Matthew 15:21-28

‘Lord Help me’

How many people will cry out “Lord help me!” over the coming weeks as the annual frenetic Christmas preparations gather pace.

Christmas should be a time of anticipation of Jesus’ birth. Too many people will be like the woman in this passage and cry out for Jesus in despair.

I worry that religion gets in the way of faith in this world. How many things are done in the name of religion, when everything we do should be in the name of Christ.

I all too often see folks feasting at the table of religion forgetting that the table is empty without faith: seeking the Approval of Man (the crumbs) rather than feasting at the bountiful table of God in faith.

We have a loving God who is faithful to us as lowly sinners. Surely we should return his sacrifice with unerring faith in him.

This woman, who was not Jewish, showed great persistence and faith in Jesus and her sick daughter was healed. Jesus is the Lord for all who are trying to have faith in Him.
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Our Advent Reflections, Day 14: Matthew 15: 1-20.

‘for out of the heart’

I believe that the more our outward representation of self differs from our inside then the more distress we feel. Distress shows itself in many different forms - anger, sadness, resentment, anxiety, physical ailments.

I wonder was the Pharisees’ resentment of Jesus an example of this, i.e. of external demonstrations of piety not being experienced internally. Bluntly, their hearts were far from God despite their outward expressions of devotion.

Jesus was concerned, as he still is, with hearts. This is where his Spirit lives in us. It is where we grow and develop in our relationship with Christ. Where we learn to surrender the heart to absolute Love. When we fall short, the Spirit challenges us, just as Jesus did the Pharisees.

My prayer for us all this Christmas and beyond is that we would allow our external traditions, customs and rituals to be an expression of His Love we hold within self.
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Culloden Balloch Baptist Church

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Wellside Rd, Balloch
Inverness, IV2 7GS.
Tel: 01463 794005
office@cullodenbaptist.com