Friday, September 4, 2009

Thoughts on this Week's New Testament Reading

Sunday's Gospel reading, according to the Revised Common Lectionary, contains two stories of healings; the first of a little girl from a distance and the second of a deaf man. While the RCL contains both stories, for various reasons I'm just going to focus on the first story. A less serious reason for focussing on only one of the stories is that it is communion Sunday and I'm conditioned as well are most people at FPC for preaching to endure no more than about fifteen minutes and the more serious reason is that I believe the first story speaks to us more than the second.

So what about the first of the two healing stories is more relevant? Well, for one it speaks to all of who are parents because the little girl who is healed from a distance receives the blessing as a result of her mother persistently pestering Jesus to heal her daughter. The first part of the passage appeals to anyone who has ever had a sick child and wants to see her made well. I can't imagine anyone upon hearing Mark 7:24-30 not feeling the aching heart of the mother who boldly approaches Jesus and asks for her daughter to be made whole.

Although this mother goes unnamed by Mark, she is a model of persistent faith and prayer. She is someone we can all bring to mind when faced with adversity. She is someone whose trust in God gives us all an idea of what it means to trust in God no matter what we are facing. It is a powerful story in the middle of Mark's Gospel and one I am looking forward to preaching.

Though I must say, since it is about healing it is awfully tempting to bring up the healthcare debate and make the sermon that much more "relevant". That being said, the problem with those kind of sermons is that they really don't proclaim the gospel, the good news that no matter what we face, God walks with us. So I won't give into that particular temptation no matter how alluring it may be.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your blog, Phil. As Layla has been sick this week and is still sick again today, it has served as a reminder that I should continue to pray for her and not just complain about having to clean up after all of the messes! I hope that she is well tomorrow so that we can both hear your sermon on this topic!