Mark 5:21-43 (NRSV)
21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. 22 Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 23 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." 24 So he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25 Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. 26 She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 for she said, "If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well." 29 Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched my clothes?" 31 And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, 'Who touched me?'" 32 He looked all around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease." 35 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?" 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe." 37 He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38 When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 When he had entered, he said to them, "Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping." 40 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. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha cum," which means, "Little girl, get up!" 42 And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. 43 He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
There is nothing worse than enduring loss, pain, and illness alone. Jesus reminds us that it doesn't have to be that way. Jesus constantly allows His life to be interrupted in order to be a presence in people's lives. He takes time to respond to an upset father's request to heal a dying daughter and talk with a sick woman.
United Methodist Bishop Hope Morgan Ward told this story from one of her conference churches, it's the story of a United Methodist woman who was diagnosed with lymphoma: After chemotherapy, remission, and the pronouncement by doctors that she was in remission, she spoke in worship. During her message, people noticed a basket on the altar. In the basket were some 300 cards and letters from members of the congregation. She said this to the congregation, "Over 300 cards, and many more prayers. That is what made the difference. I can never say thank you enough. I am blessed."
I've been at Clemmons United Methodist long enough to know how you respond in such an incredible way to the needs of others. You have blessed so many lives. Please continue to remember that a loving response to another person's pain, loss, and suffering should always be a first priority, it makes a difference in people's lives. It's the promise we make to Jesus who makes a difference with His presence in our lives every day. Think about it.