Today’s Word: Canaanite By Paul Gauche Posted August 15, 2020 In Featured, Pastor Paul's Blog Today’s Word: Canaanite2020-08-152020-08-15https://popmn.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/pop-logo_horizontal_color-e1473696608865.pngPrince of Peace Lutheran Churchhttps://popmn.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/pop-logo_horizontal_color-e1473696608865.png200px200px 0 By Pastor Paul Gauche Today’s Word: Canaanite as in… another beautiful, ancient, subversive, poetic, provocative, scandalous, mysterious, revealing, and inspired reminder that Jesus goes the distance. Here’s a bit of context: Jesus hikes nearly 60 miles northeast from Gennesaret up to Tyre and Sidon. A long walk. A really long walk. When he gets there he encounters a woman whom Matthew describes as a “Canaanite.” This is insightful for us because by this time – early first century and certainly by 60 to 65 AD when this gospel was written – people were no longer called “Canaanites.” It was really an outdated, even pejorative word. Canaan wasn’t even really on the map anymore. So when Matthew refers to her as a “Canaanite woman” what he’s really doing is clearly signaling that she’s an “outsider.” She’s well off the map, she’s from the fringe. She doesn’t have a support network. She doesn’t have a small group. She doesn’t have theology, and she certainly doesn’t profess any faith, she doesn’t use any religious lingo and doesn’t have any connection to a church. Or synagogue. Why is that significant? It just makes it all the more extraordinary that Jesus steps into her life, into her daughter’s life, into their desperation. Jesus met the mom and her daughter right where they were: smack dab in the middle of their fear and desperation. Jesus steps deeply into their lives and meets them just like he met thousands of people on a hillside multiplying loaves and fishes by teaching the generosity of the kingdom. Jesus met the mom and her daughter right where they were, just like he met Peter in the boat on the water, in the storm, reminding them, “Don’t be afraid, I’m here with you.” And that’s the point of this beautiful, ancient, subversive, poetic, provocative, scandalous, mysterious, revealing, and inspired story: there’s never a place too far that Jesus won’t go to show love and mercy, grace and compassion! If Jesus is willing and able to go to Tyre and Sidon to meet this woman and her daughter, there’s no place too far, too “out there,” too remote, too disconnected for Jesus to show up in our lives. Especially when things seem dire and when we’re feeling desperate. This “Canaanite woman” knew that Jesus would meet her right where she was. And Jesus is still meeting us right where we are. #100days50words Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where be blogs about a different word each day. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche), or on his blog, Thriving Rhythms. Paul Gauche Recent PostsProposed Lead Pastor Call CommitteeEcho Park Elementary School Partnership[You’re] WelcomeTransition Process: What’s Next?