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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Today’s Reading | Luke 8:40–56

Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. Just then there came a man named Jairus, a leader of the synagogue. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, who was dying. As he went, the crowds pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years; and though she had spent all she had on physicians, no one could cure her. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his clothes, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. Then Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and press in on you.” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; for I noticed that power had gone out from me.” When the woman saw that she could not remain hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before him, she declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” While he was still speaking, someone came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the teacher any longer.” When Jesus heard this, he replied, “Do not fear. Only believe, and she will be saved.” When he came to the house, he did not allow anyone to enter with him, except Peter, John, and James, and the child’s father and mother. They were all weeping and wailing for her; but he said, “Do not weep; for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and called out, “Child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and she got up at once. Then he directed them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astounded; but he ordered them to tell no one what had happened. (NRSV)

Every day when I turn on the evening news I am overwhelmed by all of the negative news stories: death, disease, pain, and suffering are all around us. I often feel as if I should not bother watching all the sad stories, because if I am ignorant, won’t I at least be happier? Ignorance is bliss, right? Then I pray, “God, how can you let this happen?” If a woman can reach out and touch Jesus’ robes and instantly be healed, surely it won’t be too hard to solve world hunger!

This passage reminds me that God hears all our cries and is, in fact, surrounded by them on all sides. The response, however, varies. Sometimes all we must do is reach out in faith, while other times help does not come until we think that all is lost. God works on a different timeframe; it is never early or late. Help comes to the hemorrhaging woman, an outcast in society, and to the daughter of a leader of the synagogue. God’s love does not discriminate.

Thank you, God, for hearing my prayers. In this world full of strife and pain, give me the strength to be patient for your response when it comes, for your wonders know no bounds. Remind me of all the wonders you have given me. Thank you for your unwavering love. Amen.

Written by Katie Patterson, Junior High and Youth Mission Coordinator

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