Sunday, June 27 2021
“Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 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. So he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.” (Mark 5:22-29).
There is no doubt that Jesus is a healer. Jesus is healing folks and announcing the coming of the Kingdom. What is evident in the lesson this week and next week is that the coming of the Kingdom happens through our faith and through a relationship with God. In my teaching sermon two weeks ago, I mentioned that the Kingdom of God is the gathering of believers that follow the will of God. The irony of being a Christian is that without faith you can’t even imagine the coming of the Kingdom. With faith and a relationship with Jesus Christ, you can’t imagine anything besides the coming of the Kingdom.
This is what makes St. John’s such a special place. Many of us have journeyed through difficult waters during the pandemic, but our faith and the prayers of our brothers and sisters have guided us. Jesus not only healed folks with faith like the woman in the Gospel, but heals faithful folks every day. God can’t fix every problem we have, but Jesus can walk with us through the stormy days. The Kingdom comes when we feel our fellow St. John’s parishioners right there with us.
Even Jairus, a synagogue ruler, believes that Jesus has the power to heal his daughter. There is no doubt that his power comes from above. When your mind is closed to the possibilities of the coming of the Kingdom, you will struggle to have faith in a being greater than yourself. The woman in our story believes that Jesus has the power to heal her. This is not to say that God will answer every prayer and heal every disease, but that the healing had a purpose in God’s plan. Jesus feels the energy leave his body as this faithful woman touches Jesus’ prayer shawl. Jesus will often tell folks that their faith has made them well. When we open our minds to the possibilities of the Kingdom, God will keep us on the path to the Kingdom of God. When we believe that Jesus was merely a Carpenter who did good things instead of the Son of God, we close the door on the power of the Holy Spirit. When we have faith that God loves us dearly and we are open to the power of the love of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, we can have an incarnational expectancy.
St. Augustine said, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. Therefore, there is no one on this planet that God loves more than you and no one that he loves less.” An incarnational expectancy is the knowledge and faith that God is present at St. John’s and that we are in store for amazing things.
Ministries like our thrift shop, our racial reconciliation committee, our nursery school, our concert and music programs, altar guild, our morning prayer, lay ministers, nursery school, spirituality group, Hilda’s group, or bible study all point to the coming of the God’s Kingdom when we have faith. Mission trips next year to Puerto Rico, Navajoland, and the southern border in Arizona will happen only if we have faith in the power of God’s love.
Right now, as we emerge from the pandemic, is a great time for all of us to re-claim our faith, develop our relationship with Jesus Christ, and discern God’s call in our lives.
In Christ's love,