Sermon Preview: When the interruption isn’t an interruption…
This Sunday, will we hear the intertwined stories of two women in Mark’s Gospel who need the healing of Jesus. One woman is the daughter of Jairus, a leader of the synagogue and an insider, and the other woman is an outsider who has suffered from hemorrhages and has been an outcast for more than 12 years because of her condition. New Testament and Markan scholar Ched Meyers highlights that this is a story of mirror opposites. Jairus formally approaches Jesus to ask for healing, while the unnamed woman suffering from hemorrhages has no choice but to reach out and touch Jesus in a crowd, facilitating her own healing. Jairus is a male in power speaking on behalf of a member of his family, while the unnamed woman commits an act of scandal by being in public with a health ailment that violates the Levite Purity Codes predominant at the time. She has no voice other than her own and has no choice but to interrupt Jesus by touching him, prompting Jesus to ask: “Who touched my clothes?”
As Meyers notes about this passage: “To the disciples, this interruption is an inconvenience attributable to the anonymous crowd, with whom they are unconcerned, anxious to help the powerful leader. Jesus, however, seeks to know the human face of the poor. Emerging from the margins of the story to center stage, it is the woman’s turn to fall in front of Jesus, implying that she is now on equal par with Jairus.” So often, we are so preoccupied with our own needs, stories, and narratives, that we fail to see that God’s work happens in the interruptions. God’s justice happens in the interruptions. God’s hope happens in the interruptions.
This Sunday, join me as we wrestle with this Gospel story; and may God help us to see that it is in the interruptions of our lives where we can most easily join in God’s larger redeeming work.
— The Very Rev. Gray Lesesne, D.Min.