Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Party Crasher!


Mark 7:24-29
Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre.  He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret.  In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet.  The woman was Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia.  She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
"First let the children eat all they want," he told her, "for it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs."
"Lord," she replied, "even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."
Then he told her, "For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter."

For years now, my husband, Danny, and I have fed our backyard birds.  It gives us great pleasure to watch how the feeders attract such a variety of feathered friends depending on the season.

But the birds aren't the only ones who benefit from our charity.  We also spread a generous helping of sunflower seeds on the ground for the squirrels, the occasional chipmunks, and ground-feeding birds to enjoy.









One morning as I exit the back door of our garage, a seed-filled pitcher in my hand, I notice three deer lying quietly in the far corner of our yard.  They raise their heads and watch me, but they neither flinch nor bat an eyeball at my presence.  In this neck of the woods, the deer are used to being in close proximity with humans, though I'm sure if I were to get too close, they'd vacate the premises pronto.

I move slowly and deliberately as I refill our feeders, sprinkle the ground with the remaining seed, and retreat as fast as I dare to the house to fetch my camera.  I simply can't resist this photo-op!

When I return to the garage door, camera in hand, I fully expect to find the deer resting just where I left them.  Wrong!  This is the scene that greets me instead.



One of the deer, either out of inquisitiveness or a foreknowledge of the tastiness of sunflower seeds, is browsing away, happily lapping up every seed intended for the squirrels.

Party crasher!  How dare you gobble up food not meant for you!

And at the moment I entertain this uncharitable thought, God replaces it with the remembrance of the Greek woman, a Gentile, who begged Jesus to heal her daughter.  Just like the deer, this woman is a party crasher, barging uninvited into a closed circle where the Lord is ministering to a Jewish audience, the ones who could fully understand the significance of the Messiah.

The woman knows she is out of place, a lowly dog nosing for scraps, but she is desperate.  And her faith is so strong in Jesus' ability to heal her child, that even a crumb of His power would be more than enough to do the job.

I wonder, too, if this incident became a turning point in Jesus' outlook on His ministry.  With fully human eyes, had He only thought His Father sent Him exclusively to the Chosen People?  In this very instance, was the balance tipped with the glorious prospect that no, He had not come for one group, but for all?

All of us?

The deer raises her head and regards me with her deep-brown, lustrous eyes as if she's saying, "Thank you."

"You're welcome," I whisper.  "Come and join the feast."

~

Jesus is inviting you to join the feast.  Will you come?

Prayer:  Father, thank You for sending Your beloved Son, Christ Jesus, to bring salvation and hope to each and every one of us.  Because of His sacrifice on the cross, we are washed in His blood, forgiven our sins, and invited to partake of the Heavenly Feast spread lovingly before us.  It is in Jesus' precious name, we pray.  Amen.

19 comments:

  1. I am astounded by the way you have drawn the parallel between this mundane act and the story of the desperate Greek woman! Sometimes we gate-crash an event only with selfish intentions, not bothering about the real needy. Similarly, some of us, use their money-power to have precedence over others who may be waiting in the queue for hours together. Your thoughts are so noble!
    Thank you for this eye-opener.

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    1. Thank you, Portia, for your kind and thoughtful words here. Selfish intentions - always wrong! God can only work in our hearts and souls when we give all of ourselves over to Him. Ego must go. Those who would be first must become last. We decrease that He might increase.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Martha, This is an amazing illustration of how inclusive Jesus was during His earthly ministry--He welcomed "the party crashers". It was those who were excluded who many times truly understood who Jesus was, while the elite completely missed Him. I'm so thankful that I said yes to Jesus.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. You are absolutely spot on, Kim! Jesus reached out to those who knew they were impoverished in the spiritual sense and they reacted positively to Him. It was only those so caught up in the jot and tittle of the law that couldn't see Him for the Savior that He was and still is.
      You and I are in that same thankful boat together, having said yes to Jesus!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. I'm glad the banquet is not closed to certain people. All are invited to the feast. Well done and well said Martha.

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    1. Thank you, Bill. Your words of affirmation mean the world to me. Yes, the feast is spread and the banquet invitations are ready. Who will come?
      Love and blessings!

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  4. beautiful words and oh I would love to see a deer in my yard. glad you got the picture to prove it.

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    1. I'm glad I got the picture to prove it, too, Sharon! You should see some of the deer photos that didn't turn out so "right." I'm a work in progress when it comes to the camera, and always do better when Danny is right there to coach me.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. I loved this very practical *nature* application of that scene in the Bible. Such a good illustration of the all-inclusive reach of Jesus' message. All are invited to partake. And I, a *party-crasher,* am so glad that I was asked to share in the feast!!

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. You're a party crasher, too, Sharon? Welcome to the club! I'm so, so grateful, especially as a Gentile who was raised in a predominantly Jewish area, that Jesus came for all, not some. Where would we be without our Lord and Savior? Perish that thought and feast away!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Beautiful illustration of a heart of compassion at the sight of need, or desire.Oh, the precious deer made my day! Reminded me of the song:

    As the deer panteth for the water
    So my soul longeth after Thee
    You alone are my heart's desire
    And I long to worship Thee…

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    1. Thank you, Debra! Yes, that Psalm always comes to mind whenever I spot deer in our yard. Glad this made your day!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Such beautiful pictures and such a heart warming post Martha!

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    1. Thank you, Privy. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
      Love and blessings!

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  8. wonderful illustration turned into a Bible lesson. love the party crasher photos too. I just knew a squirrel would be there too.

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    1. Yep! There would have to be a squirrel, Jean. :) Glad you enjoyed the photos and the lesson; I sure enjoyed writing it.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Great post, you story made a clear point about Jesus said, come, all come to me.

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    1. Yes, indeed, Betty. Jesus invites us all to His feast.
      Love and blessings!

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