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  • Writer's pictureCory F

Weekly Liturgy : June 5-11

Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26

The Message Translation

The Calling Of Matthew the Tax Collector & The Healing of The Bleeding Woman

Passing along, Jesus saw a man at his work collecting taxes. His name was Matthew. Jesus said, “Come along with me.” Matthew stood up and followed him.

Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. “What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and misfits?” Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.” As he finished saying this, a local official appeared, bowed politely, and said, “My daughter has just now died. If you come and touch her, she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, his disciples following along. Just then a woman who had hemorrhaged for twelve years slipped in from behind and lightly touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can just put a finger on his robe, I’ll get well.” Jesus turned—caught her at it. Then he reassured her: “Courage, daughter. You took a risk of faith, and now you’re well.” The woman was well from then on. By now they had arrived at the house of the town official, and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and the neighbors bringing in casseroles. Jesus was abrupt: “Clear out! This girl isn’t dead. She’s sleeping.” They told him he didn’t know what he was talking about. But when Jesus had gotten rid of the crowd, he went in, took the girl’s hand, and pulled her to her feet—alive. The news was soon out, and traveled throughout the region.



Jesus is always creating a table of love and acceptance for those who need it most. In this passage, he interacts with two people who had no standing in their community. Imagine if your home country was occupied by its worst enemy. And then imagine if one of your neighbors was selected to be the tax collector by and for those enemy occupiers. That neighbor probably would not be popular at the neighborhood picnic. But Jesus walks by, sees the neighbor collecting money from other neighbors, and he invites the neighbor to join him in his mission to redeem the world from tribalism, violence, hatred, and greed. The other element in this passage—that of the woman who has been bleeding for years—is even more complex. But still present in that story is this picture of Jesus welcoming, healing, elevating, and empowering the people on the margins. Jesus’ heart—and God’s heart, if Jesus is to be believed—beats for the last, the lost, the least, the little, and the dead. What, or who, makes you feel like an outsider? How do you respond when you are made to feel like an ‘it’ or an ‘other’? In your day-to-day life, who needs to know that they belong? What is stopping you from sharing a table with them?



Outward Mindset Application

Find a way to include one of your co-workers in one of your duties, maybe someone that is new to their job or their role. Include them in a way that empowers them.

Pathways Toward Centeredness

Caregiving For caregivers, acts of mercy are a very practical way for them to show their love for God, but also to grow in their love for God. Caregivers may hear God more clearly when caring for someone than when they sit quietly in prayer. Caregivers have found that one of the most profound ways they can love God is to love others. For caregivers, giving care isn’t a chore but a form of worship.

Who is someone in your life that lacks a sense of belonging? Find creative ways to show hospitality to them?

Questions for Reflection

Who is someone in your life who is great about making others feel included? Who are the people—guests, staff, volunteers, community members—that you noticed being marginalized. Is there a way for you to sit with them?


You’re Invited!

One of our community practices is to gather every Sunday morning for prayer, friendship, and conversation about the week’s Scripture text. Doors open at 10:30am for coffee and donuts. Our circle begins at 11:00am. We would love to see you there!

The Open Table (@ The old DMV)

2640 N Portland Rd

Salem, OR 97301


“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.

Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.

Copyright (C) 2023 Church at the Park. All rights reserved.


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