This weekend is full, and our congregation is participating in a number of San Diego Pride events. The Pride theme this year remembers the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, a time when voices that had been silenced were suddenly raised in a desperate claim of humanity. Pride events are held around the world each year in June to commemorate of the bravery of those who would not be silenced.
Sadly, many voices remain silenced today. The voices of women are silenced in some religious settings. The voices of children, youth, and the elderly are silenced in ageism. The voices of persons of color are silenced when shouts of hatred claim a misguided sense of superiority. The voices of the our unhoused neighbors are silenced as people refuse to make eye contact or look the other way.
I believe it is our responsibility to intentionally seek out those whose voices have been silenced and to create space for those voices to be heard.
Matthew 15:21-28 (CEB)
21From there, Jesus went to the regions of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite woman from those territories came out and shouted, “Show me mercy, Son of David. My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.” 23But he didn’t respond to her at all.
His disciples came and urged him, “Send her away; she keeps shouting out after us.”
24Jesus replied, “I’ve been sent only to the lost sheep, the people of Israel.”
25But she knelt before him and said, “Lord, help me.”
26He replied, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and toss it to dogs.”
27She said, “Yes, Lord. But even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall off their masters’ table.”
28Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith. It will be just as you wish.” And right then her daughter was healed.
Consider these questions:
- Have you ever felt as though your voice was somehow being devalued or silenced? How did that feel? What did you do?
- In the text above, the woman speaks boldly to Jesus. What kind of courage do you think this takes? How have you exercised courage like this?
- How does Jesus respond? What might this say about the courageous act of speaking boldly?