The text is one of the “Markan Sandwiches” – an outside story interrupted by an inside story. That gives us a chance to reflect on things exterior and things interior. In the biblical text the the outside and the inside stories interact and intensify each other. They are told in this way because we are meant to understand them together. Likewise our internal and external selves. The first reflection this sermon delves into is the contrasts between Jesus and the Crowds in the external story in regards to hope. Internally it is the difference between hope and despair, externally it is the difference between the acts of horror and serenity. The second reflection contrasts the woman and the disciples in the internal story in regards to cost. What is the cost of this hope? There are only two answers. Give the sermon a listen to hear.
The text is a juxtaposition of a couple miracles of Jesus. One a seemingly minor healing, and the other a resurrection. But this juxtaposition soon sucks in not just the miraculous but everything we like to think about. It is status, popularity, wealth and health, faith and doubt, fear and courage. In other words it is a juxtaposition that cleaves to the marrow of life. It is also a message that cleaves a tough spot in my faith. I accept, but I don’t really understand God’s use of actual miracles. I have an intellectual understanding, but my heart still doesn’t like it. This sermon is my attempt to express both that intellectual understanding, but also to reach for something that might begin an emotional peace. I don’t know if anybody else has such a similar problem. I also don’t know if I succeeded. But here it is. A meditation on signs and wonders.
Text: Mark 5:21-43 and Lamentations 3:22-33 Full Draft
The world is a disorienting place. Its fallen. But we so often refuse to see it. We work hard to insulate, cocoon, make a separate peace. But in doing so we betray our desperateness. And that is where the world wants to keep us. Desperate, disoriented, forsaken.
But into that world Jesus says one Word – “Daughter”. The world wants you to think things are so bad its hopeless. God says “Daughter, you faith has saved you, go in peace and be whole.” When we are disoriented and lost is exactly when God says don’t accept what the world says, because you are a child of God, because whether you ascend to heaven or go down to sheol – you are the Lord’s.
And that is a faith that can sit in silence, that can touch its mouth to the dust, yet remains in hope. A hope in the abundance of the Lord’s steadfast love. In the love that will raise us up – Talitha Kumi – daughter arise.