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Creative Closing For Ordinary 20 - Year A
- George Hartwell -
Written by George Hartwell, 'Creative Closings' provide the preacher and liturgist with a way to lead the congregation to a deeper experience of the message of the selected Revised Common Lectionary text or texts for the day.   'Creative Closings' follow the sermon or homily and most often pick up on the theme of one of the sermons provided on the 'Sermons & Sermon - Lectionary Resources' site (as referenced in the 'the thematic background').   Each Creative Closing can also stand on it's own and might be used as well in a devotional or bible study session.

If this Creative Closing is of use to you please fell free to utilize it, but reproduction electronically or in print requires the author's authorization.   George Hartwell would also like to hear your response to this resource.   You may see George's web site at or write him at

THEMATIC BACKGROUND from: Crumbs From The Table

KEY VERSES: Matthew 15:21-28
    (NRSV) Jesus left that place and went away to the
    district of Tyre and Sidon.  Just then a Canaanite
    woman from that region came out and started shouting,
    "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is
    tormented by a demon."  But he did not answer her at
    all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, "Send
    her away, for she keeps shouting after us."  He
    answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house
    of Israel."  But she came and knelt before him,
    saying, "Lord, help me."  He answered, "It is not fair
    to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs."
    She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the
    crumbs that fall from their masters' table."  Then
    Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Let it be
    done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed

KEY VERSE: Matthew 15:27
    (NRSV) “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that 
    fall from their masters’ table.”

PROMISE: Even though we feel disqualified, that we do 
not belong, Jesus extends mercy, healing and deliverance to 
those with audacious faith.

RESPONSE: The challenge is not to disqualify ourselves 
from God’s mercy, healing and deliverance but to seize hold 
of heaven with audacious faith.

Is there anything that you need so desperately from God that you 
will knock and keep on knocking until you get the assurance that 
heaven has heard your prayer?

This lady is a challenge to our spiritual laziness and lack of
passion.  She was passionate.  She was persistent.  She seized 
the initiative and broke down every barrier.  She stayed focused 
on her main objective.  She stayed in pursuit of her objective 
until the promise was given.

Is there something that you are praying about? You would like
the inner assurance that God hears.  You want the promise 
confirmed, but you have not been passionate and persistent in
the pursuit of God’s promise.

Take a moment to ask yourself: Am I rally passionate about this?
Am I willing to persist until God confirms His promise in my 
heart?  Am I going to overcome and overlook every thought that 
tries to disqualify me?  Am I going to hang in there until I hear
from God?

In our time of silence challenge yourself with this lady's faith.

copyright - George Hartwell, 2002, 2005
            page - Rev. Richard J. Fairchild 2002 - 2005
            please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these sermons.

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