Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Wednesday - Go in peace

Prayer:  Almighty God, You are our heart’s delight.   Kindle in our hearts and minds and souls,  Lord most holy,  Your lamp within us so that we may shine the light of Your love.  Amen.

Read St. Luke 8:  40 –  48

This is a two part story that almost seems interrupted.    A man named Jairus, a ruler/president of the synagogue in Capernaum,  falls at Jesus’ feet and asks him to heal his only daughter.    Jairus’ tasking at the synagogue was to supervise the conduct of worship.  This is a man who knew how important worship was to the life and breath of people.       

As Jesus is on his way to heal Jairus’ daughter,  a woman who had been unclean with a flow of blood for twelve years,  touched the fringe of Jesus’ garment. The garment that  the woman touched was probably the sacred tassel which was tied by a blue thread to each of the four corners of an outer garment.  This garment was both coat and blanket
(Numbers 15:  37 – 41).  And something that isn’t part of our culture is,  the woman had a flow of blood for twelve years.   She was unclean.  Which meant that she had to stay away from everyone.  If she touched anyone,  she would make them unclean too. (Leviticus 15: 19 – 30).   But this woman was obviously desparate.  Who would have been taking care of her?  She would have been kept either in a separate part of the house or in a totally different place on the outskirts of town.   

As soon as she touches the fringe on Jesus’ garment,  immediately the flow of blood stops and the woman is healed.      According to the laws,  she must wait seven days to make sure there is no more discharge.  Then on the eighth day,  she would take two doves to the Priest at the entrance to the Tent of meeting.   The Priest would sacrifice the offering  and the woman would be declared clean. 

Yet,  Jesus stops suddenly and says, “Who touched me?”   Peter responds that there are people everywhere crowding him … how would Jesus know someone touched him?  Jesus responds “Someone touched me,  I know that power has gone out of me.”

The woman comes forward and falls at Jesus’ feet.   She acknowledges that she touched Jesus AND how she was healed.  The woman made a public confession.    And how does Jesus respond?   Does he say “tsk, tsk”?      Jesus then says, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace.”  

Go in peace.   This blessing was given by Priests to send the people off  with the reminder that God is with them always.    Only Priests and Ministers and those Ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament can bless others. 

What one thing will you take from what you’ve read and meditated about today and share with others?  Or if today is an inside day for you,  who will you pray for today with the knowledge you have learned from today’s  reading and meditation?

Prayer:  Heavenly Father,  we travel in Your peace.  We walk in Your love.   We step in Your joy.  We sleep in the comfort of knowing that in all things,  You are with us.   May we take one thing from our reading and meditation today and share it in Your name.  Amen.

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