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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Today’s Reading | Matthew 9:18–26 

While he was saying these things to them, suddenly a leader of the synagogue came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” And Jesus got up and followed him, with his disciples. Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. When Jesus came to the leader’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, “Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. And the report of this spread throughout that district. (NRSV)

The story of Jesus’ ministry is full of stories of faith and the miracles that happen when people have faith. I always feel conflicted about these stories. I grew up in an environment where faith was on a pedestal, where doubt could not be acknowledged, and if you did have doubts, then you were somehow an inferior Christian. Over the years, I’ve come to believe that faith is far more than just the absence of doubt. It’s not simply a belief that will come true if you hope and wish and close your eyes really tight and think really hard.

What I think this story illustrates is that faith is making yourself vulnerable before Christ and being open to his will. It is putting away pride and opening yourself up to the movement of the Holy Spirit.

It’s a daunting task, but doing so puts us in a position to take part in the unimaginable. If we take small steps, we might see healing—whether physical or within a community. We may see institutional hatred broken down and justice rise in its place. As an Easter people, this is the challenge and promise of faith.

Lord, give me the faith to be vulnerable and open to your will. Give me the courage to take the first step, and in those steps let your kingdom be made known in this world. Amen.

Written by Jared Light, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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