Thought for Sunday 27th June 2021

This week's talk is written by Linda Stannard.

Changing lives

A crowd gathered round Jesus while he was by the lake.  Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet.  He pleaded earnestly with him, ‘My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.’  So Jesus went with him.

A large crowd followed and pressed round him.  And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.  When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak.  Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realised that power had gone out from him. He turned round in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ Then the woman came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.  He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you.’

While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. ‘Your daughter is dead,’ they said. ‘Why bother the teacher anymore?’  Overhearing[c] what they said, Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’  (Abridged – read the whole story in Mark 5: 21-43)

I went to the doctors on Monday. I didn't wait too long to go in and see him, he listened attentively and gave me the reassurance and help I needed.  Then I left, and presumably it was the next patient's turn.  Why am I telling you this? Because Jesus was the healer in our story today and the consultations weren't in a surgery but on the road, not private but surrounded by a crowd.  He was dealing with two people at once one; of them wasn't even there and the other never asked for help.

Let's consider then the people in the story, we have a man called Jairus the leader of the synagogue - a man who was important as far as the people were concerned.  His daughter was very ill and  he asked Jesus to heal her.  They would expect Jesus full attention, but he is distracted by a poor woman who has spent all she ever had on doctors hoping to be healed from a terrible bleed she had suffered from for 12 years.  She just touched his gown and she did it with such faith that Jesus felt the power go out of him and she was healed.  Imagine it all the pain all the disgrace gone in an instant.

But what of Jairus; he must have been jumping up and down with worry as Jesus was side tracked by a woman who had no importance.  But it is too late.  His daughter is dead - some people from his house came to tell him not to bother Jesus because it is too late.  But it wasn't. Jesus continued on his way to Jairus house, got rid of the mourners, lifted her by her hands and she woke up.  We are told she was 12 years old. She had lived as long as the woman had suffered.  Was this an amazing coincidence or, as I believe, God showing that all are important? This is a new start (twelve was an important number in Judaism).  Both these people's lives and those who knew them were changed for ever.  Jesus is still changing lives, giving hope, recognising needs, saving the lost, healing the sick, drawing people to him.  We can reach out and touch him as the lady did or shout in anguish as Jairus did, it doesn't matter- he loves each one of us and is waiting for us to call on him.

Dear Lord, Hear us as we cry out to you today with our own needs.  We bring our worries, our pains, our griefs and sorrows to you and ask for your peace and joy to flood our lives.  Let us like the woman in the story feel your power course through us, and, as Jairus did, see new life.  We also pray today for others, those we know who are in need including those effected by coronavirus. And for the problems in our country and World.  As we lift our prayers to you we touch your gown. Amen