Proper #8…Series B
Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church (June 30th-July 1st-2018)
Text: Mark 5: John 6: 35, 41-51
Title: Fearless Faith!!
She kept on getting weaker as day dragged into day. The doctors gave no hope for her; she seemed to fade away. My hours were filled with constant dread; time became a knife. That slowly and relentlessly cut the cord of life.
There was a teacher in the region then some of us had heard that He’d healed the paralytic by the power of just His Word. So with hope again rekindled I went at once to see, If I could find a man named Jesus from a town in Galilee. I began to search the city and soon I saw the crowd. They were pressing in to touch Him and they called His Name out loud. But with the strength of desperation I pushed them all aside. I threw myself before Him and from my knees I cried: “Lord, come and heal my daughter, even now she’s close to death. Her fever’s uncontrollable, she fights for every breath. But God’s given You the power; life is Yours to give If you’ll just lay Your hands on her I know that she will live”…(She will live, she will live)
Well, He’d just begun to go with me when a face I saw with fear Came towards me with the news I knew I didn’t want to hear. And although I tried to steel myself I trembled when he said, “Why bother the Teacher anymore, your little girl is dead.”
Then Jesus touched my shoulder and He told me not to grieve. The trembling stopped when He looked at me and said, “Only believe”. Then He sent the crowds away except His closest men. And they followed right behind us as we started off again. But we were still a long ways down the road when I heard the sounds and cries Of the mourners and musicians as they strove to dramatize. My grief they had no business with beneath their loud disguise. My wife just sat there silently and stared through empty eyes.
Then Jesus asked the mourners, “Why is it that you weep? She isn’t dead as you suppose, the child is just asleep.” It only took a moment for their wails to turn to jeers
“Who does this man think he is? Get him out of here!”. But with authority I’ve never heard from the lips of any man. He spoke and every sound rolled out with the thunder of command. And in the sudden silence they all hurried for the door…wondering what the reasons were they’d ever come there for.
Then He called his three disciples that were with Him on the way. He led them and my wife and me to where our daughter lay. He took her by the hand; He told her “Child, arise”. And the words were barely spoken when she opened up her eyes
She rose and walked across the room and stood there at our sides. My wife knelt down and held her close and at last shereally cried. And then Jesus told us both to see that our daughter had some food. But as to how her life was saved, not to speak a word. Not to speak a word…not to speak a word…*
There is an interesting contrast in Mark’s Gospel between those folks back in the 1stcentury who want to silence Jesus (the religious establishment-the Chief Priests and the Scribes/Pharisees and “teachers of the Law”) and those who will stop at nothing to get near him! The two main characters in our Gospel for this 6thSunday after the great feast of Pentecost (the leader of a local synagogue named Jairus and an unnamed woman who had suffered for 12 years with a chronic menstrual disorder) are real “Heroes of the Faith…they represent the millions of disciples down thru the centuries who refuse to take NO for an answer…who insist (often, against enormous odds and obstacles) on getting in touch with Jesus of Nazareth. And for the Evangelist Mark, the true test of authentic Christian faith is whether it will allow anyone or anything to stand in it’s way…to prevent it from making contract…from getting in touch with Jesus, the Christ. !
And friends, I am here tonight/today, not to tell you anything new…anything you don’t already know…I am here to remind you that FAITH
(simple/uncomplicated/unsophisticated FAITH)…FAITH the size of a grain of mustard seed…child-like FAITH…like the Fearless FAITH of a frantic father…friends, it is FAITH which releases the enormous power…the nuclear power of God and of his Son, Jesus Christ, into our lives and into our world. It was true back in the first century…it is still true today. And the great Good News that we celebrate this evening/morning is that the same Jesus who restored life to a child who had died and who stopped the bleeding of a woman who suffered for 12 years…the same Jesus whose Lordship is demonstrated in compassion and in power can still (after more than 2000 years) be EXPERIENCED in faith (simple/uncomplicated/unsophisticated FAITH)…Fearless FAITH…Relentless FAITH…FAITH which refuses to allow anyone or anything to stand in it’s way…FAITH which stubbornly refuses to take NO for an answer!
- From the lyrics of Don Francisco’s song, Gotta Tell Somebody