Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Touched the Hem of His Garment

Today’s meditation from Forward Day by Day touches on one of my very favorite stories – and its opposite. It’s all about the power of belief. The woman, suffering from bleeding, would have lived a terrible life, considered unclean, untouchable, and trying everything to be cured without success. Just a touch – one touch – and her illness is gone. Jesus is astonished and tells her that her faith has made her well.

In contrast, the people in his own village are skeptical. How can good ole Jesus, son of Mary and that carpenter, how can he be anything special? In the face of such callous disbelief, Jesus can do little.


Mark 6:1-13. And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.

What a contrast, in just a few verses. Yesterday the bleeding woman merely touched Jesus’ garment, and Jesus’ power streamed into her. Today he is home, and those who watched him grow up ask, “Just who do you think you are?” and the Son of God is stopped in his tracks, like Superman when he is exposed to kryptonite.
My field education rector preached on this passage a year ago, and I was spellbound by his ending. He asked, “If Jesus came to All Saints, would he be able to do deeds of power?” Then the rector got even more personal, asking, “If Jesus came to you, would he be able to deeds of power?”

Oh, how I hope so. I’m not sure how to have the faith that allows Jesus to perform deeds of power, but I can see what kind of behavior does. It is hopeful, brave actions that seem to open the way for Jesus to work; and it is arrogant, fear-based behavior that seems to block the way.

Lord, teach us not to fear the change you bring. Teach us to reach out to touch your garment.

When my Mother was still living on her own, there was a revolving guest room, and my sister left a CD for me there, as she departed and I arrived, which contained the song above. I want it sung at my funeral. It is a succinct statement of faith; it is the song of the bleeding woman who believes and is cured, and nothing is ever the same.

July 27, 2013 - Posted by | Aging, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Character, Community, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Experiment, Faith, Health Issues, Lectionary Readings, Living Conditions, Spiritual, Values

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