Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
Matthew 15: 23 – 24
Many voices have been made silent over the years because they are people who have been seen to be less than, not important. People cry out, and then are silenced and pushed to the sides because they become people in the way. As this has continued happening, people have stopped listening to those voice on the margins. People turn their heads, and just continue on with what they were doing. The American election has been a good example of how important every voice is, as it has taken so long for all ballots to be counted before those last few States have been called.
Jesus comes in, and completely shifts this. Jesus is known for reaching out to people on the margins, and reminding people that their voices matter just as much. What is so powerful is that what is being highlighted in these two verses is the importance of this woman’s voice. It isn’t some powerful healing story yet, but it is a reminder that no voices should be pushed to the side or lessened. Every voice deserves to be heard, acknowledged and honoured. As Christians, we are reminded that our calling is to love people, and a huge part of this is making sure every person’s voice is not only heard, but acknowledged.
Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for reminding us to listen to every person’s voice, not just those who we want to listen to. Thank you for challenging us to listen to people on the margins, and make sure that they are heard and loved. Help us to make the time to listen for those voices who have been pushed to the sides. Amen.
Action: Take time to look and listen out for those people whose voices have been silenced and pushed to the margins. Take time to listen to them.