Collect and Readings for The Fourth Sunday after Trinity 27th June Year B Wisdom 1.13-15, 2.23-24, Lamentations 3.22-33, Psalm 30, 2 Corinthians 8.7-15, Mark 5.21-43;
The Prayer for today O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that with you as our ruler and guide we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not our hold on things eternal; grant this, heavenly Father, for our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
In the last 18 months the world has seen too much death. Everything about death looks final. The body we knew laughing, anxious, angry or intrigued is stilled; all the memories and stories locked insde and out of our reach. It seems to be the endof responding, thinking, feeling and moving.lustered around it are other endings – the cupboards to be cleared, possessions and clothing now redundant; terrible gaps in family, friendships, committees and rotas, the particular pew. The tragedy of death is its finality- it is like a violent rejection of what was very much alive; a slap in the faceto life itself. With King David, out gut reaction to death is the grieving of endings – 'Look how the mighty are fallen'.
Yet with God walking this planet in person as Jesus, we discover in his ministry several casesof death's finality being challenged and reversed. Jairus' 12-year old daughter had left the living world and yet Jesus speaks into death and calls her out of it, back into the world of life again. She hears his call to her ('Talitha, koum!') and follows it through a journey we can only imagine, emerging to stand up in the world she has left, no longer full of fever as before, but in full health and very hungry.
Just like last week's miracle, we might ask why, if Jesus'compassion drove him to do such acts contrary to nature then, does he not continue to reverse natural laws daily and universally on grounds of compassion today? I'm sure that this is a question which has been asked many times over the last 18 months. In fact, of course, there must have been many hundreds of other people dying during Jesus' ministry on earth, none of whom were raised from the dead. There are other reasons for Jesus acting like this in these particular situations; reasons to do with signs and pointers to Jesus' true identity.
But we are also challenged by the great faith shown in today's Gospel. In Jesus' encounter with the woman in the crowd, finally healed after 12 years of miserable ill health and uncleaness, according to the law, she is told that it is her faith which has healed her, even though Jesus knows that power has gone out of him. Did her faith draw that healing power out?
Certainly we do need to be expectant, considering God-incidences perfectly possible, allowing God permission for his kingdom to be unleashed in each situation. We choose whether or not to unbolt the door from the inside and let God in to do his life- empowering work within us.
Some questions for you to reflect on:
How often have you asked God why did you let this happen?
Have you experienced a time when things happen which are just too much of a coincidence?
Will you open the door and let God into your life?
God bless and stay safe and well.
Rev'd Fiona Robinson