June 30, 2021
Our gospel reading this week is a story of two women who are healed. Both are anonymous, one named by a condition and the other by a relationship. There is a bleeding woman who is cut off from her community because of her condition and has been impoverished by physicians whose skills have failed her. She would have been invisible to those who did not know her and those who did would have shrunk back for fear of contact contamination. In her desperation she doesn’t care. “If I but touch the hem of his robe…” Her faith in this moment has everything to do with the one in whom she places it. After being made well, free to walk away, steps forward and admits to touching a man in public while she is bleeding and that Jesus did what no one else had been able to.
Then we will hear about the 12 year old daughter of Jairus. Her father shows the same sort of courage born of desperation that the woman did. No doubt members of the synagogue have heard of this Galilean preacher and wonder if their leader has lost his mind, but Jairus believes that Jesus is his daughter's hope.
What gives you hope? What gives you reason to get up in the morning?
June 13, 2021
The readings this morning have a thing or two to say about family. Who do we consider to be family? Who do we turn to when we need help? In ancient times family had a different meaning than it does today. Many of us see our families consisting of ourselves, parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, special aunts and uncles or cousins. In biblical times families consisted of many, many people that also included great aunts and uncles, all first cousins and second cousins were all considered a central part of the family. Family get togethers could almost be seen as an encampment as there were so many people gathered together in one place.
In today’s Gospel reading Jesus looks around him, he takes in everyone seated and says, “Right here right in front of you - my mother and my brothers.” This idea of family greatly impacted the beginning of the church because it was inclusive of all people. All are part of God’s family.
June 2, 2021
This week we hear a reading from the gospel of John about a man named Nicodemus. Nicodemus was one of Israel’s teachers and leaders. People respected and admired him. In our reading we find him going to see Jesus under the cover of darkness.
But Nicodemus had no idea whom he was dealing with. Nicodemus may have come to Jesus intending to push him on his theology, but he found himself being pushed instead. Jesus told Nicodemus that, given his status as a teacher of Israel, he really should be able to handle Jesus’ statements better than he did. But to be fair, they were (and are) difficult statements. We kid ourselves if we claim to understand them fully.