Blue spring flowers on the Cathedral grounds

Mark 5:21-34

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” So he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 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.” Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?'” He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

I know the desperation of Jairus and the “hemorrhaging woman.” My older brother was in a horrific motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed. There were moments during the four months of his hospitalization that his life hung in the balance. He was living in Indianapolis at the time, and I was in seminary in New York City. On one of my trips to Indy to care for him, I was feeling so desperate that I approached a newspaper vendor in LaGuardia Airport and asked him to pray for my brother. I had no idea his religious status; it didn’t matter. I was desperate and reaching for anyone’s cloak. He looked at me stunned, but said “Yes,” he would. All that mattered was that I had faith this stranger would pray for healing for my brother.

There are times in our lives when we are desperate, at the end of our ropes, or just plain tired of being tired and need divine intervention. There is no shame in casting a wide net—who knows whose prayers you might catch! That is why we believe in Christ Jesus. There is always hope—hope for healing and new life. Friends, I realize that our faith doesn’t always make us well. But, it does give us the blessed assurance that we belong to Jesus, and he journeys with us. From the hymn Blessed Assurance, “Angels descending bring from above Echoes of mercy, whispers of love. This is my story, this is my song; Praising my Savior all the day long.” Amen.