Growing Christ-centered relationships in our communities through love and service.
If you are new to the Northwest Indiana area, or if you are looking for a new place to worship, we invite you to make Griffith Lutheran Church your new church home.
Weekly worship opportunities:
Sunday Morning Worship 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Sunday School for All Ages 9:45 a.m. (Sept. through May, adults meet year-round)
All ages explore the same Scripture during the Sunday school hour in age-appropriate classes,
fostering family discussion so that they may grow stronger in their faith together.
A Few Words from Pastor Scales...
June 28th, 2015
Lamentations 3: 22-33; Psalm 30; 2 Corinthians 8: 7-15; Mark 5: 21-43
These stories in our gospel today are some of my favorite. My very favorite part is the reaction of Jesus when he felt the power leave him in a flash. He turns around, immediately knowing someone had just touched him for some other reason than just bumping into him. “Who touched me?” He asked his disciples. Flabbergasted they said, “Everybody.” “No, someone touched me.” And of course the woman knew he was talking about her and that is when she cautiously went up to him and said, “I did”.
That whole story is about something not planned. In fact as you read this entire gospel lesson, it is full of interruptions, full of things happening that were unanticipated and unexpected. Jesus and his disciples were walking along, probably going to another place to gather and to teach. The crowds continued to gather around him as he walked and talked. Then all of a sudden this leader from the synagogue rushed up to him and said to Jesus that he had to come to see his daughter that she was dying. He fell to his knees and begged Jesus to come and make her well so she may live.
It looks like Jesus didn’t even respond, but just started following the leader to where his little girl was. Then while he was going to where the little girl was, the woman who had had a hemorrhage for 12 years, managed to wiggle her way into the crowd and came up behind him and reached down and touched the hem of his robe, or one of the tassels that Jewish men wear on their garments.
Whoa! Another interruption, a big one. “Who touched me?” Jesus said. He stops in mid-step, turns around looking for someone. And here is when the woman admits she touched him; she touched the hem of his garment. He looks at her and tells her what faith she has and indeed it had made her well. In that one moment, she went from being unclean and shunned to being called by Jesus, a daughter.
So, now where are we? Back to the synagogue leader and his dying daughter. Jesus started again following Jairus, the name of the leader of the synagogue. Then, everything stopped again. Jairus’ friends were running to him and said, “Forget it. It’s too late. You’re daughter just died.” Oh my goodness, I cannot even imagine the emotion that surged through Jairus. His hope in Jesus healing his daughter dashed to smithereens. I cannot help he again fell to his knees, but this time in grief, not in hope.
Jesus knew better. He knew the faith of Jairus and told him, “Wait a minute. It’s not over. You still believe in me, don’t you?” He must have said yes, because they kept heading toward Jarius’ house, going through the crowd of his family and friends who weeping and grieving at the loss of his little girl.
You know the end of the story, Jesus finally makes it to the little girl, takes hold of her hand and lifts her up. She is now not just alive, but she is now well.
In our gospel lesson today, people in need literally blocked the path Jesus, stopped him in his tracks, and interrupted his day all day long.
Who knows where Jesus was originally heading or what he had planned for the day, but whatever, it was interrupted. And it seems like Jesus did not even blink an eye with each interruption. He just took it in stride, stopped, changed course, and did what he needed to do.
Could this not be a lesson for us all? We may be surprised how Jesus uses some of our interruptions to further God’s kingdom here on this earth.
Let me tell you about an incident that I bet probably happens in one form or another perhaps more often than not. At a recent church gathering there was a line of cars parked at the church at noontime. A woman who frequented the church’s food bank thought the food bank was opened, so she went in to gather up some food for her family. After she went in, she realized she had interrupted a Bible study. She was told that she had come to church on the wrong day that the food giveaway was scheduled for the next week.
The woman was embarrassed for interrupting the Bible study. But she replied that her family needed food that day, not next week. They apologized and said that they really didn’t have anything to offer. They did not have anything available for her and that she would simply have to wait until the twice-monthly food giveaway came around again. With a look of disappointment, the woman backed out of the church door and walked away empty-handed.
She had interrupted the church’s Bible study, but the interruptions were not over. Several people got up from their Bible study and followed the woman out the door. They questioned her further as to just exactly what she needed. Finally a couple of the women gave her a ride to the grocery store and then back to her home with the food they helped her purchase for her and her family.
Every time I read that story, my heart just gets full. I can see people, one by one, at first a little reluctantly, getting up, trying to catch up with the woman and seeing if there was some way they could help her. She never asked for money. She just needed food for her family, and that’s what they gave her.
As we see in the story of Jesus in our gospel today and in the story of this woman and the Bible study, interruptions, unanticipated and unexpected, can be very special moments, moments of experiencing God’s presence and experiencing God’s merciful power. I cannot help but think that you know what I’m talking about, and that you’ve been there at least once, if not more.