Ok. I promised myself a nap this afternoon before tidying up for vespers. But I know I’ll just lay there and think about this, so I might as well write it out.
PP continually amazes me as to how afraid of the gospel he really is. This morning he did a dandy job of the “bible study” portion of the sermon; outlining how characters are similar and different. Pretty basic literary stuff.
Jarius – powerful in the world
woman with the hemorage – outcast by the world and family because of being ritually unclean
Jarius – man
Daughter – physically dead
Woman – essentially “living dead”
Things he missed:
Only the man is named but Jesus heals the two unnamed, powerless women (and a woman-child! Talk about a “waste!”)
The woman had been sick for 12 years, the girl was 12 years old. (were they related? They both lived in the same area.)
The healing/resurrection for both women returns them to community and relationship.
Jarius and Woman had faith/hope/desperation that Jesus could help them and acted on it. Jarius by talking to Jesus, the woman by reaching out to touch his robe.
At this point PP took a hard turn and started talking about how God uses the ordinary in our lives to be in relationship with us. Then he starts talking about how we have to do this or that in order for this to happen. He holds up a book he’s reading that talks about using exercise (running, specifically) as a meditation activity and how he is learning to “breathe in God and breathe out everything in the world you want to release.”
Wha? How does that relate to the story?
Don’t get me wrong. I think meditation is an important spiritual practice and is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, not only spiritually but physically as well. What I expected and was disappointed that I didn’t hear was that:
1. God still acts in our life.
2. That in the Lord’s Supper we receive the power of Jesus for healing.
3. That every day we need the power of God to be resurrected from all the little deaths; the living hells we have built for ourselves.
4. And that at the end, the power of God will even overcome the power of death for us too.
Given the fact that we had 2 baptisms at the 10:30 service, he could have even talked about how God uses water, bread, wine and words, (ordinary elements) to break into our lives and how, through the sacraments we receive forgiveness of sins, life and salvation.
Otherwise this is all just an intellectual construct that is abstract and meaningless. I mean, what’s the point if it’s all just smoke and mirrors and only about some emotional feeling. Yes, I get emotional when I think about the enormity of this gift, but that’s because it is so…amazing that the creator of the universe is aware of me, much less cares whether I am in realtionship with her/him/it. But ultimately, it’s not about the emotion. I get a more reliable emotional reaction from watching movies and reading good fiction. It’s about the reality of redemption, both in this life and afterwards.
But I think he is actually afraid of preaching about the sacraments. I don’t think he realizes how he pulls away from it. At least I hope it’s subconscious. How sad if he is forced to do something every week he doesn’t actually believe.
Here’s the portion of the Gospel for this morning, in case you were wondering…
21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. 22 Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 23 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.” 24 So he went with him.
And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25 Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. 26 She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” 29 Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?’ ” 32 He looked all around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
35 While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38 When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And 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. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. 43 He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.