Sunday, July 1, 2018

July 1 sermon--Emmanuel, Killingworth

Mark 5:21-43
5:21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea.

5:22 Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet

5:23 and begged him repeatedly, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live."

5:24 So he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him.

5:25 Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years.

5:26 She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse.

5:27 She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,

5:28 for she said, "If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well."

5:29 Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.

5:30 Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched my clothes?"

5:31 And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, 'Who touched me?'"

5:32 He looked all around to see who had done it.

5:33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth.

5:34 He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."

5:35 While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader's house to say, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?"

5:36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe."

5:37 He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.

5:38 When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.

5:39 When he had entered, he said to them, "Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping."

5:40 And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was.

5:41 He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha cum," which means, "Little girl, get up!"

5:42 And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement.

5:43 He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
Mark's gospel uses the word "immediately" more than it is found in the rest of the Bible. Mark's gospel is moving fast and furious. In fact, so fast that today there is a story inside a story.
The synagogue leader, Jarius, came to beg Jesus to heal his dying daughter.
The major story is about Jarius' daughter--but in the middle of the immediacy of that, a woman who has been  plagued by bleeding and lost everything--including her money to physicians--and she believed if she could only touch Jesus' cloak--only that---she would be healed.
And she did and she was.
And Jesus said "who touched me?" because he felt his power go out of him.
Of course, given the crowd, no one could know, but the woman came forward to confess it was her. Jesus told her that her faith made her whole and blessed her.

By then folks from Jarius' house told them his daughter had died and not to trouble the Teacher more. But Jesus takes his three most trusted disciples--Peter, James and John--and goes to Jarius' house.

He is met by people weeping and wailing and when he told them the girl was 'just sleeping', they laughed, as upset as they were.

Then Jesus went into the girl and said to her, "Talitha cum", Arimaic for "Little girl, get up", and the child did get up, dead as she had been.

(An aside, I wanted to name our daughter "Talitha" but Bern put the stop to that immediately!)

One of the things God confounds us with is that we believe dead things must stay dead.

But Jesus says, "no" and resurrects the little girl. In God's mind, dead things don't have to stay dead. Jesus resurrected only two other people in the gospels--the son of the widow of Nain and, of course, Lazarus.

But Jesus tells us dead things don't have to stay dead.

Dead relationships, dead thoughts, dead emotions, dead hopes, dead longings--they don't have to stay dead, God tells us.

I've felt the need for healing for a while--a long while. When children can be separated from their families and all interred  and a perfectly good family can be denied a meal in a restaurant, both remind us of horrible historic events--Japanese Americans interred during the Second World War and African-Americans being denied meals.

I heard someone say on radio, "Civility is dead". It seems that way. But, God tells us dead things don't have to stay dead.

We have become Tribal in this country. I know of families who can't eat together on holidays because of the political differences.

We need to find healing to our community. We must find a way to heal our differences and become "one nation" again. 

We need to be healed and touch each other in spite of our differences.

That's why as soon as I stop talking, I invite you to come forward for anointing and prayers for healing. Garnet will help me.

We must be healed so we might heal the divisions and pain in our nation and world.

I invite you to come forward for a prayer of healing and anointment.



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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.