Here's this week's Bible study blog entry for i.ucc.org:
“Posted by ProudDog . . .”
On i.ucc, aol, gmail and probably a few other places my name is ProudDog. Why? Really – wouldn’t kirkmoore be something much more understandable? Where does this prouddog come from?
About 16 years ago, when I thought it would be cool to have a 'CB-like" online handle, I created "proud dog" as a result of my reaction to this week’s Bible reading from Mark 7:24-24. Over the years the name and its significance has evolved but the name is still the same. Verse 28 refers to the good fortune a dog under the table has to catch the children's crumbs.
In the first part of this week's Bible reading I see a tired and crabby Jesus. He was trying to get away from everyone by hiding in a house. A persistent woman with a sick daughter found him and asked that her daughter be healed.
Jesus' response was less than kind. The snotty remark about feeding the children (the Hebrew people) before the dogs (the Gentiles -- the woman who found Jesus was Syrophoenician -- a Gentile) wasn't at all nice to say. The comment was snarky, rude and offensive. But the woman gave it right back to Jesus: "even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."
I love Jesus' response: "For saying that, you may go. The demon has left your daughter." It's as if he was saying, "OK -- you got me -- I'm feeling a little crabby and you're right -- I'm here for everyone -- thank you for reminding me."
Jesus -- who was fully capable of performing wonderful miracles, also was fully human. He understood mood swings, exhaustion, snarky comments and even learning something from another person.
This Bible passage and my experience with it paints a picture of Jesus that is real -- genuine and authentic. It paints a picture of someone I want to know better.
And I'm so proud (in a beaming and bubbling about what Jesus has done for me way) to be part of the "everybody" (and I mean everybody -- not just certain somebodies) that feels often like a child -- and often like a dog under the table.