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URC Daily Devotion  19th March 2020

Thursday 19th March

God of Our Yesterdays
StF 241 © Matt Redman Thank You Music 2008

When we were in the darkest night
and wondered if our eyes would ever see the light
You were there Lord.
When we were in the stormy gale
and wondered if we’d ever live in peace again
You were there Lord.
You were there in the struggle.
You were there in the fight.
You were there all the time.

We praise You the God of our yesterdays.
We praise You the God who is here today.
We praise You our God as tomorrow comes

So whatever lies ahead,
whatever roads our grateful hearts
will come to tread, You’ll be there Lord
And we will fix our eyes on You
and know that there is grace enough
to see us through You’ll be there Lord.
You’ll be there in the struggle;
You’ll be there in the fight.
You’ll be there all the time.
 
 Bridge
 You’re always closer than we know
 Always more involved and in control
 We will trust our lives to You
 The One who was and is and is to come

You can hear this hymn here.

St Mark 5: 21 – 43

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat  to the other side, a great crowd gathered round him; and he was by the lake. 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 haemorrhages 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 haemorrhage 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 round 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.’

While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?’  But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’ He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.  When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, ‘Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.’  And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha cum’, which means, ‘Little girl, get up!’  And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Reflection

Some would craft our story today around the amazing healings of a girl and a woman.  However, not everyone in need of physical healing can tell such an amazing story. I have recently spoken with a couple of people who have told me how God healed them.  I rejoice with them.
On the other hand, I have spoken with person after person who have not had physical healing. 

So instead of healing, I want to think about two encounters with Jesus in this story.  Jairus had clearly met Jesus before. In his desperation to save his daughter’s life, he turned to Jesus, hoping Jesus would do what no one else has been able to do—bring health to his daughter.  The woman with the flow of blood had probably also heard Jesus teaching or at least heard of his ministry of healing. In their need they turned to Jesus.   

Both were people of faith, Jarius as the leader of the synagogue, clearly a man of faith. Jesus said the faith of the unnamed woman had made her well. They both have life-changing encounters with the divine.  

Where have you encountered Jesus or the divine?  Have your prayers opened space in you to encounter God?  Have you seen God in a person who has gone out of their way to listen to you or help you with a task?  Have you heard God speaking through the voice of a mentor or even a stranger?

Jairus and the unnamed woman sought out Jesus.  The encounters with Jesus changed them. So whatever lies ahead, we too can seek God, and when we encounter God, in people and in Word, may we be open to deepening our faith, and to the healing and wholeness God brings.  

Prayer

Living God, 
in times of need and times of joy, 
open our eyes to encounters with you.  
Help us to see you in the ordinary 
and in the extraordinary moments.  
May our encounters help us grow in faith.  
May those encounters bring us healing.  
May our encounters bring us close to others who follow you.  Amen.

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