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The Passionate Jesus

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Topic Features About Persistence

The Rev. Robert W. Lee IV

Rob Lee: Nevertheless, She Persisted

Matthew 15:21-28

11th Sunday after Pentecost - Year A

August 20, 2017

The Rev. Robert Lee


I am surrounded by strong and empowered women. My grandmother was president of the North Carolina Garden Club and has mingled with the likes of British royalty. My mom has her doctorate in nursing practice and my wife Stephanie is a force to be reckoned with in her own right. One of my closest friends is a woman named Palmer, who I'm certain be bishop as soon as she's out of seminary. All these women have shown me that while I may not always fully understand the persistence that women have to have in a patriarchal world, I can nonetheless appreciate and learn from it. The persistence of women through the ages in spite of men getting in the way is no surprise to me in today's Gospel text. What is surprising to me is Jesus' initial response to the persistent and empowered Canaanite woman in our narrative today.

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The Rev. Keith Anderson

God, the Crazy Farmer

Matthew 13:1-9,18-23

5th Sunday after Pentecost - Year A

July 13, 2014

The Rev. Keith Anderson (ELCA)

Every summer when I was a kid, our family would drive from our home in the Baltimore suburbs out to the country for our annual family reunion at my Uncle George's farm. Uncle George and his wife Betty owned a small farm in Howard County, Maryland, where they raised chickens, pigs, and steer and grew all manner of crops and vegetables. Some of my most cherished childhood memories are of walking around that farm with my Uncle George. He was a big man with a kind soul and an infectious laugh--and he absolutely loved the farm. He'd show us the chicken coop, let us throw slop to the pigs, and take us around the hay fields on his tractor. I remember once watching him feed his favorite bull right out of the palm of his hand. For a kid from the suburbs, Uncle George's farm was an entirely foreign, yet delightful place. And even as a kid, I recognized the great care that Uncle George took with the farm. Vegetables were planted in just the right spot for the proper amount of sunlight and the most nourishing soil. Every inch of the hayfield was used to grow feed for the animals. And the front hall of the great old farmhouse was filled with food shelves and freezer chests, ensuring that none of the harvest would go to waste.

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