Devotion for Friday, March 21st

Brooke Eikenberry Lent 2014

Mark 5:21-34
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea.  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.  Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?”  And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, Who touched me?” He looked all around to see who had done it.  But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth.  He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

For me this story is about HOPE and FAITH. When the crowd says, “Don’t bother, nothing can change”, I think of the many times, when faced with others’ suffering, which arises from poverty and structural injustice, we fail to act because we believe nothing can change.  We lack sufficient Faith/Hope to sustain our efforts and act compassionately.  Jesus acts with compassion and never lets go of Hope and Faith.

Recently, Bill Gates shared his effort to inform the world of the many successful interventions and the realistic prediction we will/can end long term suffering. He challenges the false premise, “nothing changes, it’s hopeless and a waste of money ” He says it is not only a false belief, but, it is Dangerous. We will fail to act if we don’t belief we can end unnecessary suffering.

I am puzzled by Jesus ordering those present not to tell others. I think telling others encourages and spurs action.  Yet, as the story unfolds, Jesus often leaves behind those with insufficient Faith / Hope.  Could He be saying naysayers diminish hope and faith, hindering efforts at healing/change?  So we need not heed them?  Instead, move forward in faith and hope we can/will heal and change the world?

– Submitted by Dottie Lee

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