• Content

  • Pages

  • Upcoming Events

    • Sunday service - Holy Communion October 2, 2022 at 9:30 am – 11:00 am Grace Church 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon, VT Website: www.gracechurchsheldon.orgTime:  09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)        Every week on Sun.Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/83929911344?pwd=alZQTWZMN0ZkWFFPS1hmNjNkZkU2UT09Meeting ID: 839 2991 1344Password: Call for detailsOne tap mobile+13126266799,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (Chicago)+19294362866,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (New York)Dial by your location        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)        +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)Meeting ID:…
    • Sunday service - Holy Communion October 9, 2022 at 9:30 am – 11:00 am Grace Church 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon, VT Website: www.gracechurchsheldon.orgTime:  09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)        Every week on Sun.Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/83929911344?pwd=alZQTWZMN0ZkWFFPS1hmNjNkZkU2UT09Meeting ID: 839 2991 1344Password: Call for detailsOne tap mobile+13126266799,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (Chicago)+19294362866,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (New York)Dial by your location        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)        +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)Meeting ID:…
    • Sunday service - Holy Communion October 16, 2022 at 9:30 am – 11:00 am Grace Church 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon, VT Website: www.gracechurchsheldon.orgTime:  09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)        Every week on Sun.Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/83929911344?pwd=alZQTWZMN0ZkWFFPS1hmNjNkZkU2UT09Meeting ID: 839 2991 1344Password: Call for detailsOne tap mobile+13126266799,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (Chicago)+19294362866,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (New York)Dial by your location        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)        +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)Meeting ID:…

Pentecost 5 Proper 8B June 28, 2015

2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27
Psalm 130
2 Corinthians 8: 7-15
Mark 5: 21-43

In our opening reading, King Saul and his son, Jonathan, have died in a battle against the Philistines. King Saul was the first king of Israel, and he brought Israel from a confederation of tribes into the beginnings of a nation-state. David had become one of Saul’s greatest warriors, but, as King Saul became more and more ill, he began to plot to take David’s life.

Jonathan and David were very close friends, but, as King Saul’s illness because worse and he felt David was his enemy, it became more and more difficult for Jonathan to continue to be David’s friend because Saul might think that Jonathan was taking David’s side against Saul. By the usual right of succession, Jonathan, as Saul’s son, would have been the heir, but, as we know, God had sent Samuel to anoint the next king, and that king was David.

In spite of all the complications in this situation, Jonathan and David remained loyal to each other, but Jonathan also stayed loyal to his father, Saul. Now, we see the tragic end to this saga as both Jonathan and Saul die in battle.

Though Saul has been trying to have David killed, David honors Saul and Jonathan in this hymn. In spite of Saul’s plots to kill him, and in spite of all his own faults, David is able step back and honor the first King of Israel and his son Jonathan.

In our epistle for today, Paul is asking the Corinthians to be generous in their participation in a fund drive Paul is conducting for the Christians in Jerusalem.

In our gospel, Jesus sails back to the busier side, the Western side of the Sea of Galilee. This is also the Jewish side of the sea. He reaches the shore, and there is again a great crowd gathered around him. Jairus, a leader of the synagogue, a prominent man honored in the community because of his position, comes to Jesus in desperation.

He falls at Jesus’ feet, a position of deep reverence. and tells Jesus that his little daughter is at the point of death. Immediately, Jesus goes with him. The crowd is surging around Jesus.

Now someone at the other end of the social spectrum, a woman who has been suffering from bleeding for twelve years, approaches Jesus. Because she is shedding blood, this woman is considered unclean. She has spent all her money on doctors and she has only gotten worse. This woman has deep faith in Jesus. If she simply touches his robe, she will be healed.

Jesus is considered a rabbi, and she should not be near him, says the law. She should be staying away from people because she is unclean. But she is desperate. Maybe she intuitively senses something else about Jesus. Yes, he can heal her, but, perhaps more importantly, he has come into the world to transcend these barriers of clean and unclean, acceptable and unacceptable, in and out.

She comes up behind him. She knows she is not supposed to be there. She reaches out. As soon as she touches his robe, she knows she is healed. But she probably has not realized that Jesus would know that some energy had gone out of him when she touched his robe. Jesus turns around and asks, “Who touched me?”

It is almost impossible for us to understand how humiliating it was for someone in that culture who was considered unclean. They had to stay by themselves, They were supposed to warn people if they had to walk in the street around people. It was terrible. And here this woman had gone right into the middle of the crowd and touched Jesus’ robe.

Now Jesus has detected that something has happened. What is she going to do? It would have been understandable if she had run as fast as she could or tried to slink quietly away without being detected. But something happens when we get close to Jesus. We know that he loves us. He gives us courage. And perhaps we even begin to realize that all the divisive rules that are based on class and gender and color and all those ways we humans have of dividing ourselves and classifying ourselves as good, bad, and indifferent—well, those things simply do not matter to God. As Archbishop Tutu says, God has a big family, and God loves all of us.

Maybe this woman knows that on some level. At any rate, she shows steely courage. She is terrified and trembling, but, like Jairus, she falls at Jesus’ feet in humble reverence and tells Jesus the whole truth. And Jesus says, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your disease.” Of course, she already knows she has been healed.

Without skipping a beat, Jesus goes on to the home of Jairus. Some people have come to tell Jairus that his daughter is dead and he shouldn’t bother Jesus any further, but notice that Jesus is never bothered by our needs. He is always ready to respond with love and healing. Jesus tells Jairus and us, “Do not fear, only believe.” Faith is such a powerful thing. Then he takes his closest followers, Peter and James and John into the girl’s room, puts the people weeping and wailing people outside, and then reaches out to this  girl, “Little girl get up!” She gets up, and the ever-practical Jesus asks them to get her something to eat.

Jesus heals the daughter of a prominent man, and he heals a woman who is an outcast. He loves each of them infinitely. No matter what our social status, we are part of his family. I know that all of us have been praying for the people of Mother Emanuel Church and for the healing of racism. The love that has been pouring out from Mother Emanuel and for Mother Emanuel is spilling out into Charleston and South Carolina and our nation and the world. Thanks be to God for that love, which breaks down barriers and heals all of us and makes us whole.  Amen.

%d bloggers like this: