During the season of Advent, people from our congregation at Martins Creek Mennonite Church have collaborated to create an Advent devotional. Each entry has been written by one of our own, both young and old. We hope these meditations are a blessing to you during this Advent season.
The story of the faith of the Canaanite woman found in Matthew 15: 21-28 is one of my favorite stories in scripture. It is very easy to note the amazing faith of this woman and the love and compassion of Christ in this passage. As I read through it a second time though, I couldn’t help but notice the attitude of the disciples. Here is this woman, pleading and crying for Jesus to heal her demon-possessed daughter. The disciples’ response? In verse 23 of the New Living Translation they tell Jesus, “Tell her to go away. She is bothering us with all her begging.” The disciples were so focused on the inconvenience of the situation that they failed to notice the needs of the woman standing right in front of them.
As I thought about this, I realized how often I have that exact same attitude. How many times have I failed to notice the needs and hurts of others, because I have been too caught up in my own problems, and thought only about myself? How many times have I failed to put other’s needs ahead of my own, just because it would be too inconvenient, and would take up too much time? The answer, unfortunately, is probably way too often. In Romans 2, Paul tells us, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” God calls us to put other’s needs ahead of our own, not just when we have time, and not just when it is convenient for us. As we travel to many different places throughout this busy time of year, let’s make sure that we do not allow ourselves to become blind to the needs of others. People are hurting all around us, and we can use these opportunities to be a light to others during this Christmas season.