Today's Lectionary Text
Mark 5:21-24, 35-43
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” So he went with him.
And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him.
The box on the basement shelf is a Caramel Delites Girl Scout Cookies box. It once held a dozen boxes of these cookies, waiting to be sold. Now it contains papers and resources and announces on its top “Young Woman, Rise Up.” The contents are all materials from a United Methodist Women’s conference held in St. Charles, Illinois, in December 2000 for teens and college-age women. It was my privilege to accompany my daughter to this conference when she was in high school. The event was centered on the passage in Mark 5:21-24 and 35-43.
The focus of that whole time together was on empowering young women. Facts and statistics were presented during a couple of the sessions. Bible study offered a deeper understanding of Scripture. Both young and more mature women were exposed to situations of the oppression of women, especially of young women worldwide.
Hopefully young women touched and were touched by women whose life journeys and experiences were much different than their own.
This Conference was at least another step for my daughter on her faith journey. Maybe it did contribute to her call and to the sharpening of her focus on how she would serve God with her life. Over and over, in various ways, she has “risen up.”
God continues to use God’s power today to help young persons and persons of all ages rise up, to become brokers of the power of God’s love in the world. Oftentimes that authority needs to be helped along. It does not just land on each and every person and instantaneously mold her or him into just the precise disciple God needs. Persons might need some direction from another. That direction could come in the shape of questions: Toward what is it God is pushing you? Are you doing what brings you joy? Have you thought about ... ?
The direction could be in the form of a road map. When turns and forks appear, expected or a surprise, direction might be the pointing out of alternate routes. Becoming a disciple is an ongoing process. It is not a journey to be undertaken alone. Wisdom for it comes in community.
Each day each of us continues on our own journey of discipleship. Maybe part of my trek is to be the questioner for another. It could be that I would best serve as a companion for someone else. Offering suggestions for alternate routes could be a role I play. Regardless I need to listen and be aware, both with God and alongside another follower.
This week God needs you to be an example in your daily living. Someone needs your presence and listening ear over the next few days to move along on his or her journey. Offering the gifts that you have to spread God’s powerful love throughout the world is probably just what God is calling you to do this week.
-Rev. Dianne Tombaugh
Prayer for Reflection
Use me this week, O God. Remind me I am called. Help me to empower those I meet to hear your call in their lives as well. Amen
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