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Service on the Square


This Sunday there will be no service at St. Andrew's in Chariton.  Every year, as part of the Fourth of July celebration, the interchurch council sponsors a service on the town square.  At the last meeting we decided the service would have lots of music and maybe a little lighter on the preaching.  I have been asked to give a prayer just before the offering.  At evening prayer yesterday, we read a prayer from the Book of Common Prayer titled, Thanksgivings for National Life.  I think I will use it.  The service starts at 10 A.M. this Sunday and I invite you to come.

Peace,
Fr. Fred

Miracles




Mark 5:21-43

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." He went with him.
And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, "If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well." Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched my clothes?" And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, `Who touched me?'" He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."
While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader's house to say, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?" But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe." He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, "Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha cum," which means, "Little girl, get up!" And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Your Faith Has Made You Well

The Sermon


What did Jesus mean when this lady was healed when she touched Jesus robe and he said, “Your faith has made you well. Remember in this story she had been suffering for years, bleeding for years, at the hands of doctors for years. She believed that Jesus was the real deal. If she could just get close enough to touch this man, this healer, she would be cured.

Fortune is with her. She touches his robe and she feels Jesus power entering her. Jesus feels that same power leaving him. He knows that he has just been part of a miraculous cure. The odd thing to me is that Jesus did not take the credit, he laid it squarely on the faith of the woman.

You know the New Testament tells us that Jesus did not always do miracles. In Mark 6:5 Jesus says, “A prophet is not without honor except in his home town.” Mark goes on to say that Jesus was unable to work miracles in Nazareth because of the peoples lack of faith.

If you want miracles to happen in your life, you have to have faith. You have to believe. So, is it because I do not have enough faith that my MS is not going away. What about the rest of you? We all have something, some physical thing going on that we would like to see cured.

When I was very young, I was quite self-conscious about my ears. I was sure they were too big for my face and I wanted them to be smaller and not stick out so much. I wished and I prayed for smaller ears but it was not meant to be. Was my faith not strong enough?

Sometimes I think you have to pray for the right things, the right interventions by God. These days I pray for different things. I pray for the spiritual strength to make good decisions in my life. I pray that we will remain a healthy church. I pray that others around me will be guided by the Spirit in their daily lives.

I of course pray for physical health with the full knowledge that it is not always the direction that life takes. Life is short. It is like a blip on a screen when compared to eternity.   I know that in a hundred years there will be different people sitting in these pews and a different person delivering the sermons.  

I believe that when you pray, when you have faith, God does respond and miraculous things do happen. I believe the hand of God can be experienced in so many ways.

 
Cousins Kathy & Mike giving much needed help


This week you may have noticed there was a wind storm in Chariton. We noticed at the Steinbach household. Last Wednesday evening I was sitting in our living room when the wind came up. I heard a loud cracking sound outside, then an even louder thud. Our cherished hundred year old maple tree had blown over. The miracle for me was that it fell safely and no one was hurt. The electricity went out about the same time and it continued to rain hard. I realized that with no electricity the sump pumps in the basement would stop working and there would be water there in the morning. So. I did the only thing I could do. I went to bed.

The miracle for me was that a kind of calm entered me. Maybe it was the hand of God. I trusted that bad things were happening but that they would eventually be taken care of. Sherry and I were ok.

That terrible storm was a reminder also that regardless of how we think we can control what happens in our lives, we really cannot. God is in control and God likes to occasionally remind us.

Amen

The Wrath of God



We had a major storm pass through our community last night.  I was sitting in our living room about 9:30 and I heard this incredible wind outside.  Then, there was a loud cracking sound and finally a thunk.  I peeked out a window and saw our massive soft maple tree laying across our circular drive.

It was a reminder to me that I am not really in charge of anything. I see all of these disasters on the evening news and lots of simulated disasters at the movies but I don't really get the message until it hits closer to home.  If the wind had been blowing in a different direction that massive tree could have fallen on our house and I might not be typing right now.

Thank you God for the wake up call!

Peace,
Fr Fred