August 14, 2011

The following sermon was written and preached by Marie-Louise Ternier Gommers at St. Andrew’s on Sunday, August 14, 2011. Marie-Louise is a Roman Catholic lay woman who studied at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon. She is an active leader in the ecumenical community of Saskatoon and area, including the Women in Ministry group of which Rev. Amanda is a participant. Marie-Louise serves as a Pastoral Associate at St. Augustine’s Parish in Humboldt, SK. Matthew 15:21-28 There is tension in the Gospel today. Who is Jesus’ ministry for? Do foreigners and outcasts have a right to lay claim to God’s grace and healing? Just like in our time, there were strong cultural opinions in Jesus’ time about who was acceptable and who was not: clean and unclean people, they called them back then. So it is no wonder that even Jesus hesitates to grant the Canaanite woman her request. The Canaanites were deeply despised by the Israelites, especially because fertility rites were part of their religious practices. Jesus experiences tension and the reality of human limitations. This foreign woman approaches a Jewish man, does him homage and begs a favour she has no right to. She bursts into Jesus’ space and pleads with him: “Lord, son of David, have pity on me! My daughter is terribly troubled by a demon.” Jesus refuses …he refuses to give in to the disciples’ pleading to remove this nuisance from their midst. Instead, he directs himself to the woman and leads the discussion in … Read more »

August 20, 2017

Matthew 15:10-28 “Lifelong Learners” Do you remember learning how to drive a car? For many Canadian teenagers today, learning to drive is an important part of growing up, and a sign of status when they get their license and the right to drive on their own, without a parent sitting in the passenger seat. For a variety of reasons, I didn’t get my license as a teenager. Mostly because I just didn’t have time to take the course, and I didn’t really need a vehicle where I lived because there was a very good transit system. But when I finally did take the time to get it in my early 20s, I took the learning process very seriously. I read, and re-read, and studied the little booklet with the rules of the road and the traffic signs before attempting the test to get my learner’s permit. And then I paid for the comprehensive driving course from “Young Drivers of Canada.” I went to every classroom session well prepared, having gone over the topics to be covered that day, and I did spectacularly well when it came time for the quizzes. But I wasn’t like a Prairie farm kid, who had driven a tractor before driving a car. And I wasn’t like many friends I knew who had done a little driving at the lake with their family, or under some such circumstances gotten some driving experience. That’s why I was so grateful for the in-car sessions with the instructor. It … Read more »