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were talking about ferule dogs roaming the streets. Jesus use the word for pet dogs. The woman comes back to Jesus as herself, not with a ‘magic’ formula. Even the pet dogs get the bits the kids drop. Fridays, we see Parker feed our dogs from his highchair!

Jesus was seeking to grow the faith of this woman and grow it from formula to personal relationship.

That is what faith is about. It is not about ritual and formula – though those can help us – it is about each of us having a personal relationship with God through Jesus empowered by the Holy Spirit.

My relationship is not yours nor yours mine. Each might provide insights to the other, support and encouragement. So, we have prayer groups and Bible Study. When we meet jointly for worship we use the variety of approaches we have Sunday by Sunday so we might learn from each other. I am so lucky to share in them all Sunday by Sunday!

Ecumenically we know that there are many ways to do worship, not right and wrong ways. What we also know ecumenically is that Jesus calls us to work together to show and share His Kingdom values in the community together.

Our gospel reminds us to come as we are, as who we are, to offer God our whole life, we don’t just want an external ‘car wash’ we want the full valet service. One which deals with the faults and failings that come from within. We need to invite Jesus IN. Our relationship needs to be deep and personal not superficial and tradition based.

If I look at how God has changed me – when I let Him!. My relationship, my life, are so different from when I started in ministry let alone in the years before that. No that that earlier me was wrong, it was part of my growth. But I can see times when tradition trapped me and my opinions and I am sure still will get caught occasionally. BUT My Jesus, My Saviour yes our Jesus and our saviour too, has transformed me and my life and my faith and it is still a work in progress and will continue to be until I am made complete in Christ.

That is our journey, that is what Jesus says to us today in the Gospel. Come as you are with no airs and graces come to worship, come to Scripture, come to prayer, expecting to meet and hear Jesus, and to grow in His love, by His grace as God’s child and Jesus sibling.