Pondering for Friday, July 23, 2021

Daily office Reading for Friday of Proper 11: Year 1

Morning, Psalms 40 and 54; Evening, Psalm 51;
 1st Samuel 31:1 to 13Acts 15:12 to 21Mark 5:21 to 43:

“Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, ‘If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well:” (Mark 5:25 to 28).

In this Gospel account our Lord Jesus is on his way to attend to the daughter of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. While in route a woman of strong faith who has been suffering for a long time applied her faith to the healing goodness of Jesus and was healed even without him being aware. We can do the same. The healing goodness of Jesus is available to all of us. I have learned to call this incidental healing an unexpected opportunity. Most of us are busy. But let’s not be too busy to stop and help someone if we can.

 After healing the woman, Jesus makes his way to the home of Jairus where doubters are poisoning the minds of others with their unbelief. “But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe:” (Mark 5: 36).  Belief was what worked for the woman who was hemorrhaging.  For extra faith-power Jesus took with him his own trusted believers. “He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James:” (Mark 5: 37).  I call these three his executive counsel.  These are the same three he takes with him on the Mount of Transfiguration and to other special occasions. With this added faith, he cures the little girl. Faith is the most powerful healing tool we have access to.  We just need to use it more.  Jesus even heals on the Sabbath.  And while this occasion was not on the Sabbath, he is known to do so.

Before I close I feel the need once again to remind us about the importance of the Sabbath.  We Christians rightly worship on the First Day of the Week (Sunday) in remembrance of the Resurrection. However, our Lord Jesus never removed the Seventh Day as the Sabbath, a gift from God for us to take seriously as a gift of rest. I will again share with you a YouTube down load about the Sabbath which features some words from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel in his book The Sabbath, whom I learned of while mentoring EfM; What is Shabbat? Intro to the Jewish Sabbath – YouTube .  All you have to do is control click on the site and you are there. I am Christian forever but I remember our Hebrew roots and honor what I believe is God’s command to remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy. So, for this evening and tomorrow day my friends, Shabbat Shalom.

Let us live to love, rather than just live to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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