Mothers’ Union Devotion 27th June 2021 the Fourth Sunday after Trinity

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. Mark 5. 22-23

This encounter in Mark’s Gospel is one of the most emotionally powerful stories in the Bible. When we listen to the voice of Jairus, we get a sense of the urgency of a father who is beside himself with worry for the life of his daughter. In a modern-day context, he would be the father begging the ambulance dispatcher to hurry up, turn on the sirens and blue lights, speed through the red traffic lights. Get here as soon as you can for the sake of my little girl. Interspersed in the story of Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter is another powerful encounter with Jesus, the haemorrhaging woman who is healed through the act of touching Jesus’ cloak.

To Jairus it is a point of danger, something that will delay the cure arriving in time, the traffic jam on the way to the hospital. And so, it seems to have been when the people from his house come and say it is too late ‘Your daughter is dead’. When we listen to these voices and the voices of the people gathered outside Jairus’ house we hear those who have no faith. ‘I wouldn’t bother with the CPR, the ventilator, the intensive care provision she is effectively already dead.’ And in Jesus we see the paediatrician who will not give up. The medic who will use all the skills and knowledge available to them in order to save the life of this child. In order to spare the distress of the parents over what to others might seem the inevitable outcome.

Emotions that we are all familiar with. Jairus like us, uses words, prayers to ask Jesus to intervene on behalf of his loved one. Jesus uses words to call to the little girl – ‘Talitha cum, little girl, get up’. Sometimes words just do not seem enough. We cannot find the right words to express what we want to say to Jesus about our fears and concerns for our loved ones. We are reminded through the healing of the haemorrhaging woman that Jesus knows exactly what we are each going through. As he reassures Jairus ‘Do not fear, only believe’. Our prayers may not appear on the surface to be immediately answered but holding onto our faith, our belief in the power of Jesus can help us trust that he will not abandon any of us. Instead, he will walk alongside us as we navigate through the often-painful emotions that life and love bring to us all.

With all my love and prayers

Revd Sandra