I’ve been doing a lot of begging in my life lately – some “normal” some full out balling, screaming, crying, and a lot angry and broken. So when I came upon this chapter I wondered how to approach it. I admit, I see begging as demeaning, demoralizing. I’m one of these stupid people that have a voice in her head saying that asking for what you need is weak.
It is because of this I chose the Canaanite woman for the text. Jesus demeans her; he calls her and her daughter a bitch. Really. But then he honors her persistence and in many ways, admits his prejudice and praises her for her faith. I admire this woman and this story for her courage, so why do I think begging is weak? Why do I think asking for what I need is wrong?
It is an interesting question that I had to ask myself in regard to my congregation, my congregation that does not struggle with the physical needs of this world- food, water, clothing, shelter, even love and community. What does it mean to need when all you have more than “enough?” We should be thankful for the abundance we have and move on…
We all have needs, but the spiritual and emotional needs is what I addressed in this sermon. Asking for what you need is important and something we don’t get told enough.
When I first read this book, this was the most important chapter for me, I quoted a large portion of it in a sermon in Lent. But these sentences in particular struck my heart: “… vulnerability is honorable. Need is holy. Begging is an act of courage and sacred dignity.”
It’s okay to have needs beyond the physical ones, it’s okay to say those needs out loud. It’s okay to beg to God or another person at times. It is not weak, it is strength. I tried for over a week to write this sermon, I couldn’t write it, I read the scripture, I read the quote, other than that it was all extemporaneous. This is not the first time this has happened. Not even the first time in this series, I hope it makes sense; it seemed to in my congregation, I pray it finds it’s way to your heart also.