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Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/
Psalm 68:1-10, 19-20 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2068:1-10,%2019-20&version=MSG
Someone Touched Me 061213
Today’s verses from Luke tell an interesting story, or rather two stories wrapped around one another. The first, larger story is of Jesus being asked to heal the dying, and then the dead 12 year old daughter of a village leader. But while he is walking through the crowd to see the dying girl, someone touches the hem of Jesus’ robes. It is a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years without ceasing.
Maybe it’s a coincidence that the dying girl is 12 years old, and that the woman had suffered for 12 years also. But I think somehow and for some reason the use of the number 12 was for a purpose. I’m not sure what that purpose was, but maybe the story is easier to recall and be retold if the number 12 is repeated.
Also, note that Jesus realized someone had touched him because he felt the ‘energy draining out of him’.
I don’t know if you thought of it in these terms, but people who regret being a parent talk of the children bleeding them empty, and draining the life blood right out of them. A child, particularly a troublesome or selfish child can live so as to drain you, financially, emotionally and spiritually.
Maybe Jesus is saying a drained parent has no choice but to let the child ‘die’ and be born again. That’s the only way to still love a child, and yet the only way to ‘stop the bleeding’.
I won’t go so far as to say that this is a miracle story, or only a metaphor, because I don’t really know. But Jesus’ life has a way of being metaphorical, even when it’s true. His life, in a way, was one big metaphor that represents my and your life with God. Those metaphors are as real as anything. I know they are real because of the real effects they have had on my life, and on others. Maybe the early christ-followers knew they’d have a difficult time relating the real truth of Jesus. How do you relate the truth of a woman who has been drained of life by the actual or metaphorical death of a child? And, similarly, how would an early christian tell the story of Jesus saving a dying or dead child, and of bringing them back to life, when the death was a cultural fact (but maybe not an actual fact) and the coming back to life was a description of re-instilling life in a culturally dead child. (If you haven’t noticed such culturally dead children, look into the eyes of children living in violence, poverty and drug-filled families and neighborhoods. Aren’t they dead, and don’t we wish we could raise them from the dead.
I know referring to anything in the Bible as a metaphor is cause for condemnation at the hands of some churchgoers. But in the case, the metaphor of Jesus raising the dead and ‘stopping the bleeding’ may be a more miraculous event than if the miracles were seen only literally.
Pray for peace,
Prayer List: Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).
Pray with us!
We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net
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The Message (MSG)
A David Psalm
68 1-4 Up with God!
Down with his enemies!
Adversaries, run for the hills!
Gone like a puff of smoke,
like a blob of wax in the fire—
one look at God and the wicked vanish.
When the righteous see God in action
they’ll laugh, they’ll sing,
they’ll laugh and sing for joy.
Sing hymns to God;
all heaven, sing out;
clear the way for the coming of Cloud-Rider.
cheer when you see him!
5-6 Father of orphans,
champion of widows,
is God in his holy house.
God makes homes for the homeless,
leads prisoners to freedom,
but leaves rebels to rot in hell.
7-10 God, when you took the lead with your people,
when you marched out into the wild,
Earth shook, sky broke out in a sweat;
God was on the march.
Even Sinai trembled at the sight of God on the move,
at the sight of Israel’s God.
You pour out rain in buckets, O God;
thorn and cactus become an oasis
For your people to camp in and enjoy.
You set them up in business;
they went from rags to riches.
The Message (MSG)
14-16 So why are we sitting here, doing nothing?
Let’s get organized.
Let’s go to the big city
and at least die fighting.
We’ve gotten God’s ultimatum:
We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t—
damned because of our sin against him.
We hoped things would turn out for the best,
but it didn’t happen that way.
We were waiting around for healing—
and terror showed up!
From Dan at the northern borders
we hear the hooves of horses,
Horses galloping, horses neighing.
The ground shudders and quakes.
They’re going to swallow up the whole country.
Towns and people alike—fodder for war.
17 “‘What’s more, I’m dispatching
poisonous snakes among you,
Snakes that can’t be charmed,
snakes that will bite you and kill you.’”
Advancing from One Evil to the Next
18-22 I drown in grief.
Oh, listen! Please listen! It’s the cry of my dear people
reverberating through the country.
Is God no longer in Zion?
Has the King gone away?
Can you tell me why they flaunt their plaything-gods,
their silly, imported no-gods before me?
The crops are in, the summer is over,
but for us nothing’s changed.
We’re still waiting to be rescued.
For my dear broken people, I’m heartbroken.
I weep, seized by grief.
Are there no healing ointments in Gilead?
Isn’t there a doctor in the house?
So why can’t something be done
to heal and save my dear, dear people?
The Message (MSG)
40-42 On his return, Jesus was welcomed by a crowd. They were all there expecting him. A man came up, Jairus by name. He was president of the meeting place. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his home because his twelve-year-old daughter, his only child, was dying. Jesus went with him, making his way through the pushing, jostling crowd.
43-45 In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, “Who touched me?”
When no one stepped forward, Peter said, “But Master, we’ve got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you.”
46 Jesus insisted, “Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me.”
47 When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed.
48 Jesus said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!”
49 While he was still talking, someone from the leader’s house came up and told him, “Your daughter died. No need now to bother the Teacher.”
50-51 Jesus overheard and said, “Don’t be upset. Just trust me and everything will be all right.” Going into the house, he wouldn’t let anyone enter with him except Peter, John, James, and the child’s parents.
52-53 Everyone was crying and carrying on over her. Jesus said, “Don’t cry. She didn’t die; she’s sleeping.” They laughed at him. They knew she was dead.
54-56 Then Jesus, gripping her hand, called, “My dear child, get up.” She was up in an instant, up and breathing again! He told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were ecstatic, but Jesus warned them to keep quiet. “Don’t tell a soul what happened in this room.”
- Close Enough To Touch (reclaimingmynarnia.wordpress.com)
- God’s Add Ons – a Super Bible Verse Game for Your Elementary Kids (ministerioinfantilusa.com)
- The Forgotten Festival (ptunga.wordpress.com)
- He Has You Covered, Part 3of3, Evans Olang (magnifyhisword.wordpress.com)
- Have You Locked Away Your Compassion? (juliesspoonfulofsugar.wordpress.com)
- Bikinis at Mass (tonerjblog.wordpress.com)
- In Defense of Repetition (lettersonorthodoxy.wordpress.com)
- A Time to Heal (aratus.typepad.com)
- By His Own Hand (jesushugspoetry.wordpress.com)