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Summary: A sermon that encourages us to see that God includes people of all types into His family.

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Dr Seuess’ story the sneetches highlights something that seems to be part of every human being.

The desire to be different and to use that difference to show how we are better than others.

In the sneetches it was we have stars and you don’t.

Then later on it was don’t have stars but you do.

And each one us can feel different and better than others

because we have some thing that they don’t.

And when do this we are constructing boundaries that not only help us feel better than others,

but also separate us from others.

Throughout my younger life my parents always encouraged me to mix with a variety of groups.

I can clearly remember at one time the discussion of two of these groups.

One of these groups consisted mainly of trades people.

The blue collar, hard working class.

They would say things like those politicians, those doctors, those accountants, those lawyers they don’t live in the real world…I always wondered what world they thought they lived in.

They don’t know what the real world is like.

They don’t know what hard work is like, how to live it tough.

This group was using their differences to suggest they were better than another group.

And around the same time I was mixing with some professionals most of whom had university degrees, were well educated and had a global perspective on life.

They would often suggest that those working class people didn’t know too much, that they didn’t understand life.

And they too were used their differences to say they were better than others..

And when we reflect on our lives we can see that each of us has boundaries in our lives.

That we are different from others.

And these boundaries often prevent us from truly welcoming others.

Today I would like you to reflect on what boundaries, what differences in your life that stop you from welcoming others.

Ask yourself the question, what boundaries exist in my life that stop me from being truly welcoming to others?

What makes you feel better, feel superior to others?

What makes you feel that other people are not up to standard?

Each of us will have some sort of boundary.

The interesting thing is that most of us will have some difficult in identifying these boundaries.

We find it difficult to see the boundaries partly because as the old saying goes it is easier to see the speck in someone else’s life than the log in our own.

It is mostlikely easier for many of you to pick my faults, to see how I am not so welcoming than it is for me, than your own.

Because I do this or that.

Some of you probably have a whole notepad of things.

Other times it is easy to justify our boundaries.

“For instances one of the big catch cries we hear at present is be weary of strangers.”

And this often translates to, don’t invite any strangers into your life.

Now is this living according to the gospel.

And this is one of the reasons it is important to regularly consult God’s Word.

To regularly read the scripture is important.

When we do and use God’s Word as a mirror to our lives we can how we fall short of His standards.

When I read the scriptures and I feel I am not doing something right.

It is not something I am too distraught about.

Instead I often go wow…wow this is God at work helping me.

I see it as God helping me.

The Holy Spirit at work helping me grow.

It encourages me to confess our sin.

It encourages me to ask the Holy Spirit to help me.

And today’s Gospel reading is an interesting one in highlighting boundaries.

It is an interesting reading because it has some peculiarities that you would not think are from Jesus.

For those who see Jesus as the meek and mild Jesus, the never offending anyone Jesus then you will be offended, confused.

It also has some other things in it that we need to explore further so we can understand them further that are not quite evident from this reading.

And so as I read today’s reading again and look at some of the boundaries that may exist. I would like you first to ask your self the following:

When am I or have been like the disciples?

When am I or have been like the disciples?

Also ask yourself when am I like that Canannite Woman?

When am I like that Canannite Woman?

When am I like Jesus?

When am I like Jesus?

Reading from Matthew chapter 15 verse 21.

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly."

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