22The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
23they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
25The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him.
26It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
27It is good for one to bear
the yoke in youth,
28to sit alone in silence
when the Lord has imposed it,
29to put one’s mouth to the dust
(there may yet be hope),
30to give one’s cheek to the smiter,
and be filled with insults.
31For the Lord will not
32Although he causes grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
33for he does not willingly afflict
or grieve anyone.
The Word of the Lord.
1I will exalt you, O Lord, because you have lifted me up
and have not let my enemies triumph over me.
2O Lord my God, I cried out to you,
and you restored me to health.
3You brought me up, O Lord, from the dead;
you restored my life as I was going down to the grave.
4Sing praise to the Lord, all you faithful;
give thanks in holy remembrance.
5God’s wrath is short; God’s favor lasts a lifetime.
Weeping spends the night, but joy comes in the morning.
6While I felt secure, I said,
“I shall never be disturbed.
7You, Lord, with your favor, made me as strong as the mountains.”
Then you hid your face, and I was filled with fear.
8I cried to you, O Lord;
I pleaded with my Lord, saying,
9“What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness?
10Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me;
O Lord, be my helper.”
11You have turned my wailing into dancing;
you have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.
12Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing;
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever. Amen.
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
7Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you—so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.
8I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. 9For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 10And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something—11now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means. 12For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has—not according to what one does not have. 13I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between 14your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. 15As it is written, “The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little.”
The Word of the Lord.
The Holy Gospel according to Saint Mark 5:21-43
21When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. 22Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 23and 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.” 24So he went with him.
And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. 26She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 27She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” 29Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32He looked all around to see who had done it. 33But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
35While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” 36But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40And 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. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” 42And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. 43He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
The Gospel of our Lord.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Love . . . love is such an incredibly strange emotion – isn’t it?
Yes – love is one of life’s greatest blessings. Love brings us massive amounts of joy and happiness. Love can give our lives purpose and meaning. Love is a delight and a joy!
Sometimes love leads us to take great big risks.
Love makes us incredibly vulnerable. And we all know love can break our hearts too.
And love . . . well – sometimes love makes us downright nuts. Seriously – as nutty as a pecan tree in September! (You harvest pecans in September. I looked it up!)
I think this is especially true of the love we feel for the little ones in our lives – whether they be our children – grandchildren – nieces and nephews – younger siblings – or our sisters and brothers in Christ. We want to protect the little ones in our lives – because we love them so very much. And we will go to great lengths to do just this.
Several years ago while our family was on vacation in the Smokey Mountains – I was reminded of just how far I will go to protect the children I love.
On this particular morning – Jason’s mom made bacon for breakfast. Bacon smells so yummy. Apparently – black bears think so too.
I know this for a fact because on this bacon-y morning I looked up from pouring myself a cup of coffee and saw a HUGE black bear standing at our front door. Our front door was designed to showcase the mountain views. It was not designed to keep out hungry bears. Our front door was all glass – with an easy to open French door handle. And I knew the door was unlocked.
The HUGE black bear made it abundantly clear – he was planning to join us for breakfast. He was working on the handle like a pro. He totally knew what he was doing.
My mind began racing. “The children. The children must be protected from the HUGE bear!” So what did I do . . .? Well I did what any loving – devoted – deeply committed mom would do in that situation. I looked Jason square in the eye and I boldly declared “That bear is trying to get into the house and the door is unlocked!!!!!!!”
And then I jumped right behind Jason and let Jason lock the door!
(I used to tell Jack and Will I would throw myself in front of a bus to save them. But now we ALL know the truth. I would throw Jason in front of a bear to save them!)
When you love someone – you want to keep them safe. And you will go to great lengths to protect them.
Our Gospel reading for today told us about a man named Jairus. He was a ruler of the local synagogue. He was highly respected. And he was a man of power and influence.
But what really mattered was Jairus was a dad. And his beloved daughter was really sick. With each passing day she grew sicker and sicker.
Then one day – he started to hear rumors about Jesus. This Jesus was doing amazing miracles in God’s name. Jesus was healing the sick and casting out demons.
Then Jairus heard the best news of all – Jesus was coming to his town.
So Jairus was waiting for Jesus when his boat came ashore. The very moment – Jesus stepped out of the boat – Jairus fell at Jesus’ feet. Jairus lay there – begging for help for his daughter. Jairus did not care what it looked like or what people thought of him. His love was greater than his pride. His only thoughts were of getting help for his child.
Jairus cries out to Jesus – “My daughter is dying. Come and lay your hands on her – so that she may be made well, and live.”
Then Jairus took Jesus by the arm and led him as quickly as he could toward his home.
But there was a huge crowd of people. The people followed Jesus so closely – it was human gridlock.
Caught in the middle of that huge crowd Jairus must have felt such despair. He knew the longer they were delayed the more likely it was his daughter would die before he and Jesus could get to her.
And that delay did prove to be horribly costly. Messengers came with heartbreaking news. His daughter was dead.
They were too late. Now there was no need to hurry. Now there was no need to bother Jesus. There was nothing more anyone could do but weep and grieve and cry out in pain and anguish.
But Jesus completely ignored the news. Jesus went to Jairus’ house anyway.
At Jairus’ house the mourning had already begun. The flute players and the mourners were there. Everyone was weeping and wailing for the little girl.
Seeing all of this happening around him – Jesus asked “What’s all the commotion about? Why are all of you weeping and wailing? Why do you mourn? The little girl is not dead – she is asleep.”
After hearing Jesus – the people laughed at Jesus. They laughed because they knew the little girl was dead. They knew the difference between a nap and death. They laughed, because Jesus sounded so crazy.
Rather than arguing with the people who have laughed at him – Jesus and her heartbroken parents go into the little girl’s room. Jesus approaches her still body, takes her by the hand and speaks to her. “Talitha koum – Little girl, get up.” And she does just that. She rises from her death bed as if she were getting up from a nap.
Make no mistake about it – Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead. She had died.
When Jesus calls this little girl forth from death into life – we see the depth of God’s love for his beloved children. And we catch a glimpse of the future and of God’s promises in action in our world. God’s promise to each of you is death is not forever.
Jesus conquered eternal death on the cross.
Jesus lives and because Jesus lives you too shall live. Yes – we must all experience the pain and sorrow of death – but we have a promise made to us by the risen Lord. Jesus Christ has promised each of you that he has conquered death.
This promise is for you. Just as Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead – you too will be raised to share in eternal life with God.
And that my brothers and sisters in Christ – is very Good News – indeed. AMEN.