Monday, November 12, 2012

Pausing on the Way to Salvation

"A great crowd gathered about JESUS. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing Him, he fell at his feet and IMPLORED Him earnestly, saying, “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.” And He went WITH him. ...And Jesus, perceiving in Himself that power had gone out from Him, immediately turned about... While He was still speaking, there came from the ruler's house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only Believe.” (read Mark 5:21-42 for full text)
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There's another side to the Grasping at Hems story, that of a man named Jairus. Jairus was pulling Jesus along, trying to get the Lord to his house in time to save his daughter's life. Can you imagine Jairus’ anxiety as Jesus paused on the way to save his dying little girl? Can you imagine trying to pull Jesus through a crowd of thousands ― every single person among them wanting something from Him just as desperately as you do ― trying to get Him to your house in time to save your dying child?

And then Jesus pauses to save someone else. And while He's addressing this someone else, the little girl dies. It appeared to everyone as though Jesus was too late. The only one who wasn't worried, of course, was Him. He turns to Jairus and says, "Do not fear, only believe." When we read on, we see that, upon seeing the brokenhearted lament over the little girl's death, Jesus asks them quite earnestly why they were crying. After all, He knew that the little girl, though she had stopped breathing, was only sleeping.

That little girl died. And so do ours. And so do we, but Word and Sacrament work together so that we needn't fear, only believe. Jesus says to each of us at our child’s funeral, "Why are you weeping? Your child is not dead but sleeping." The same as He says to each of us on our chronic sick beds, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease."

We have to wait a while longer than Jairus and the bleeding woman did to see that beautiful promise completely fulfilled, but we needn't fear. Only believe. Jesus is just pausing on the way to your house. He knows you want Him to hurry, He feels you tugging on His arm, He sees you sobbing, but He also knows the proper time better than you do. Satan, sin, and death cannot hold you or your child forever because He’s defeated them all. He will return one day to set all things right, and until then, we have to wait, feeling all the anxiety and devastation of Jairus, but also his tearful belief as we look for the Resurrection of the Dead, and the Life of the World to Come. + Amen +

Suggested verse to repeat if it's a difficult day is from Mark 5:36b
PRC buddies, remember to breathe!
"Do not fear, -------> 5 count inhale
only believe." -------> 5 count exhale

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