Prayer for Liverpool
The Gospel reading for this Sunday is Matthew’s narrative of Jesus’ encounter with the Canaanite woman. This begins as a very uncomfortable story as the barrier set between Jesus and the Canaanite woman seemed insurmountable, and Jesus plays along with the barrier set up by history and by past experience. After all, Jesus was a Jew and she was a Gentile, a foreigner.
The woman, the foreigner comes to Jesus and seeks his help. Jesus ignores her. Jesus’ disciples suggest that she should be sent away. When first she pleads for help, Jesus makes it plain that the call on his help does not extend to outsiders. When Jesus sees that her faith in him is real and sincere, he breaks down the barrier that separates them and extends his healing power to embrace the foreigner, to include the outsider.
For Matthew’s Gospel this breaking down of the barrier that separates is a decisive event for changing perceptions about how God works and about what the reign of God is like. The God whom Jesus proclaims is the God of inclusivity, not the God of exclusivity.
To prepare for this Sunday’s service I invited those of you who want to do some thinking beforehand to focus on the image of removing barriers. In today’s picture from his book The Grumpy Day Teddy Horsley is removing barriers by saying sorry for his grumpy behaviour.
Next week the image to help us prepare for participation in the Sunday service, whether offline in the Cathedral or online at home, is rock, when the Gospel reading is about Peter. The name Peter means Rock. You can find out more about that theme here https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html. We would really appreciate you letting us know how you are using these materials. Please send us your ideas and photos of the things you may create; email them to Nelson.Pike@liverpoolcathedral.org.uk.
If you’d like to learn more about Teddy Horsley and his writings, visit his website: https://teddyhorsley.org/, or his page on the website of St. Mary’s Centre: http://www.st-marys-centre.org.uk/resources/TeddyHorsley.html.
We warmly invite you to join us in worship in the pre-recorded service, which will go live at 10:30:
Teddy Horsley sends his Sunday greetings to all.
Prayer for Liverpool
brought to you from Liverpool Cathedral
St James Mount
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter.
Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God