BROADWAY URC – 27TH JUNE 2021
CALL TO WORSHIP –
I wait eagerly for the Lord’s help,
I wait for the Lord more eagerly than watchmen wait for the dawn,
Trust in the Lord because his love is constant,
And he is always willing to save. Psalm 130
HYMN NO 576 God’s spirit is deep in my heart
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND CONFESSION
HYMN NO 648 Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love
SCRIPTURE; Mark 5 21-43
‘A conversation between Jesus & Peter – ‘A question of technique’.
HYMN NO 629 Make me a channel of your peace
SCRIPTURE: 2 Corinthians 8 7-15
HYMN NO 615 O God of mercy, God of might
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION FOR THE WORLD
HYMN NO 646 Help us accept each other
May the God of peace go with us,
As we travel from this place,
May the love of Jesus keep us,
Firm in hope and full of grace.
Let us stand and say the Grace to each other.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND CONFESSION –
Lord God our Heavenly Father we come before you this morning full of hope and joy that we are able to meet together once again as a community of the people of God. We give thanks for all you have given to us, our health and well-being, our homes and their shelter, our food, our friends and family.
You are a gracious God – and we are grateful.
Loving God we thank you for all you have done for us especially in the last 15 months, you have kept us safe, you have given us hope when there was none, it came in the form of a vaccine.
Loving God you allow us the use of money, help us to use it wisely and well and we ask a blessing on the gifts we have brought here today.
Lord your gifts are many and in many varying and different ways.
You are a gracious God – and we are grateful.
Gracious God we thank you for the gift of people: those who care for others, our health service staff, our paramedics, our care homes, GP’s and all those who run surgeries. Those who clean our homes and look after our pets, those who teach, those who drive our buses and bring our post, and we must not forget those who minister to us spiritually – Lord God there are so many people who provide for others – for all this bounty we thank you.
You are a gracious God – and we are grateful.
We have named just a small amount of what we have to be thankful for and we pray that as you look into our hearts this morning you will know us as individuals and our needs at this time.
We also need to confess to you O God what we have done wrong over this past week, what we didn’t do when we should have done. That message we didn’t send, that letter we didn’t write. That call we didn’t make because we thought they wouldn’t want to be bothered with us.
Lord God we confess that it is sometimes hard to live each and every day in this world of ours, so much happens and we don’t always understand why. There are crises and we worry about what will happen next – help us to lay these burdens down at your feet and know that you will take care of us through all things.
You are a Gracious God – and we are grateful.
Lord God, when the burdens get too much and the crises are too close help us to trust in you, pray that you will guide us and guard us through all things and bring us into the light of your love in due time.
We bring these prayers in and through the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
REFLECTION – DIFFERING VOICES
When I read this passage from Mark’s Gospel in preparation for today I began to think a lot about the voices of the people in this story – there is a second story inside the first one. The first one is very well known, it is the story of the daughter of the rich man Jairus the second story is of the woman with an issue of blood – the woman with no name. There are 22 verses in this reading but the woman with no name only takes up 9 verses in all. She is a short interlude in the main event. As a child I can remember having a book of Bible stories and the healing of Jairus’ daughter was one of them and there were full colour pictures the story of the woman with an issue of blood was never mentioned.
I know you have heard it all before but I do think it is worthwhile just thinking a little more about these two stories and unpacking the details. Jairus is an official of the local synagogue, he is well known, he is rich and he demands attention. His daughters’ illness makes him humble himself, we are told he threw himself down at the feet of Jesus and then he begs Jesus to come and see her, and lay hands on her, he has the faith that Jesus can heal his daughter. We take up the story when servants arrive to give them the message that there is no hope, his daughter is dead and he shouldn’t bother Jesus anymore. Jesus meanwhile tries to convince Jairus to keep faith, ‘don’t be afraid, only believe’ and they carry on towards his house. Upon arrival there is disarray and a lot of crying and wailing but Jesus enters and refuses to believe that the girl, who is only 12 years old is dead. He takes only the parents and his three disciples and goes in to see her, takes her hand says ‘Talitha koum’ which means little girl, I tell you to get up! Immediately she gets up and starts walking about, Jesus tells those present not to say anything to anyone but to give her something to eat.
Then we come to the woman, we don’t know her name, all we know is that she has suffered for the last 12 years from an issue of blood. This complaint will mean that she is defiled in the face of her community, she will be ostracised by all. She has seen many doctors and has spent all her money on trying to find a cure but to no avail. She has heard of this Jesus, a teacher and healer and she is quite determined to find him and somehow to touch him, she is sure if she can do this she will be healed. Somehow it happened, she managed to touch the hem of the cloak Jesus was wearing, she felt the healing inside of her, at the same time Jesus knew that power had gone out of him. He asked the question of the crowd, ‘Who touched my clothes’. The disciples were aghast, surely you see the crowds around you but Jesus keeps looking for who had touched him, the woman comes and kneels at his feet trembling with fear at what she had done but Jesus just simply lifts her up and says ‘my daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace and be healed of your trouble’.
Both of these women, the young and the older are brought back to life by the touch of Jesus. The younger one through the faith of her father and the older one through her own faith in Jesus. The younger was restored to her family and the older one was restored to her community, now she is healed she will be accepted.
It would seem to me that the important message from these stories is the touch of Jesus, Jairus wanted Jesus to come to his house to see his daughter and bring her back to life, the woman just wanted to touch the hem of his garment and she had faith enough that she would be healed. They are two individuals both needing to be treated differently and Jesus does just that. What was it about Jesus that made him so special and different to the rest of the people around him? Firstly, he had great compassion for people, secondly, he listened to them even those with no voices, their actions were enough, he was sensitive enough to know their problems. Thirdly, he wasn’t put off or fazed by status or colour or religion or gender, he treated people as equals. There are many lessons there that we can learn from knowing more about him.
Paul in his letter to the Christians at Corinth is talking about giving, giving of service in love. Jesus gave of himself endlessly in the service of others and we if we wish to emulate him must do the same. We should give of ourselves eagerly, if we do that then God will in return give of himself to us. It is a two -way thing, we shall be treated equally if we in return have treated others as equal.
I was listening to Woman’s Hour one morning this last week and there was a discussion on kindness some of which I missed but I did hear the following: Kindness towards one another is one of the most uplifting things we can all do, it is a reciprocation of compassion towards each other. Did you know that being kind helps to lower blood pressure and ease stress levels, kindness keeps the world going round and life ticking over in a better place and we should all practice it daily. Jesus did it on a daily basis, he listened to those in need, he took action when necessary, he held out a hand to all and he lifted the voiceless up and gave them new life. Life today is challenging for so many, if you can ease the path of one person in a day you have emulated Jesus the Christ and your reward will come when you meet him face to face as he welcomes you into a place of new life, eternal life, a life we can all look forward to as a place of everlasting joy in the care of our Father in Heaven.
OUR PRAYER FOR OTHERS COMES THIS WEEK FROM THE PRAYER HANDBOOK IT IS CALLED SIMPLY – NEVER ENOUGH
Oh Lord – it is so easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless
In the face of the world’s challenges.
Even our best efforts feel woefully inadequate.
You call us to press for justice,
But there is such disparity between weak and mighty,
Powerful and powerless,
Those who make the loudest demands with far reaching decisions,
And those who are rendered invisible and voiceless.
We feel ill-equipped to make even a dent in the status quo.
You hear our prayers and petitions.
You hear the voices of the voiceless.
Through you the lowly will be raised up.
Through you the mighty will fall.
So, let us patiently, wait on the Lord.
Let us tirelessly, impatiently work for justice
Let us eagerly, faithfully do what we can
And let us believe our best efforts are enough for you.