“God made man imperishable, in the image of his own nature. Death was not God’s doing, he takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living” words from the Book of Wisdom.. ..greatest gift God gave us is gift of life..to be imperishable, to live on indefinitely.. infinitely here & in heaven..shareholders in eternal life.. second greatest gift is choice/free will..to take heart from his encouragement/ affirmation & heed his gentle words of warning in relation to life in progress, learning from our earlier mistakes & inappropriate behaviour for the next time..there will always be a next time, a forbidden apple, a poor choice.. ..we have a way home from self harm & self destruction where our imperishability is rebooted..our poor choices forgiven, our real selves restored & failure redeemed.. ..we gather here & now to touch the hem of his garment..
“..I will praise you Lord, you have rescued me..” ; Lord have mercy “..the Lord listened & had pity..” ; Christ have mercy “..the Lord came to my help..” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
“Jesus crossed in the boat to the other side” a stretch of water always brings change..of location, direction, of perpective, culture & safety..our migrants with us this weekend are in best of company as Jesus moved migrated journeyed in & out of zones of threat danger safety & sanctuary..some waiting expectantly for his arrival in hope of restoration & healing..others desperate to get rid of him & his radical message a threat to the status quo ..he is at his best when he rises to take the bait..caught where he is at his best, by the sea.. well away from confines mustiness of temple..two stories of a young innocent lass & a fallen woman..lass has traction due to her father & his status..woman remains nameless.. a ”she” one jot better than “it”..no mention of man in her life, nor her position in society; she is defined by her suffering..a disease which disqualifies her from any positon/ status “every bed on which she lies shall be treated as the bed of her impurity, everything on which she sits shall be unclean..whoever touches these things shall be unclean” she’s written off in scripture; zero tolerance..a social & religious leper.. on other shore is the respected male figure Jairus; heard & responded to by Jesus first..his 12 yr old innocent experiencing her first emotional bodily experiences of adult womanhood..urgency in his plea as they push through crowd of believers doubters seekers, moaners & comfortable complacent defenders of status quo..in midst of scrum is Jesus, carried off his feet jostled elbowed praised & abused; in it our fallen woman bless her makes her move..12yrs of suffering, of total isolation, no bodily touch contact..an outcast; once a woman of some means, consulting paying many physicians to no avail..now no better & destitute..she, like Jairus, had heard of Jesus but, unlike him, she couldn’t approach him except secretly in crowd ”if I can but touch his clothes I shall be well again” immediately she was cured “she felt in herself that she was cured of her complaint”..she felt she knew; her faith felt it..she didn’t need any external authority to confirm it, to sign her off..& the immediacy of it matched by Jesus feeling his loss of power “who touched me?” the cheap reaction of twelve is legendary; low on intelligence, as yet bottom set followers, belittling question instead of hearing feeling emotion in Jesus &the moment..we sense his scanning crowd looking for one who humbly dare not give eye contact..& wonderfully she self refers.. ”came forward frightened trembling & fell at his feet & told him whole truth” a world of difference from whole truth in a law court where defendant is on rack..here she is healed already, she shares her story, her truth, her love with her Lord “my daughter, your faith has restored you to health ; go in peace be free from your complaint”..healed 5mins ago physically & now spiritually, her spiritual disease, her poor choices/ bad apples deleted, her spiritual relationship with her Lord rebooted..notice weave of sad brush off by rooky disciples in gospel pt 1 to reaction of heavy gangs of status quo in pt 2..heavies bringing heavy news.. “your daughter is dead why put the Master to any further trouble” words of pious trouble makers..Jesus cuts loose from them taking only three trusties & Jairus “do not be afraid only have faith”..at house were the professional mourners, weeping cold stale tears of dogged disbelief ..”the child is not dead but asleep”..they laughed at him; faithless badge holders of Judaism, hot on men-only compliance, bereft of risk adventure, & of any possibility of meeting the Messiah among the unclean the feminine & migrant ”so he turned them all out”..imagine whole team straight red carded!..& childs mother appears, the feminine, caretaker the Holy Spirit personified.. Jesus risks the touch as had woman leper earlier; his own faith tested “little girl, I tell you to get up” wouldn’t he have felt the power go out of him again?..he too still learning, his ministry/his divine pedigree being put to the test, his own self doubts as to just what was to come this side of the lake or other..a gospel of migrants for migrants..the diseased isolated homeless with the only real valid identity written on their hearts; readable & translatable only by fellow migrants ..“a child of God..safeguarded & always mine”..is not our endemic fear of migrants in urgent need of self referral to a loving divine gatekeeper?.. [13thSunYrB Mk5;21-43]