Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of June 10, 2012
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed. Thank you
for forwarding this to your friends.
Desperation and hope
"While Jesus was saying these things to them, suddenly
a leader of the synagogue came in and knelt before him,
saying, 'My daughter has just died; but come and lay
your hand on her, and she will live.' And Jesus got up
and followed him, with his disciples. Then suddenly a
woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for
twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe
of his cloak, for she said to herself, 'If I only touch
his cloak, I will be made well.'"
Who has not felt desperate or struggled with despair at
some time in life? There are moments when all hope is
lost and God seems silent. How can we find comfort and
strength through this story?
There are some things worse than our own deaths. I
remember my beloved grandmother often said the greatest
fear of any parent was outliving their children. She
knew from heartbreaking experience the bitter grief and
desperation of seeing her children die as adults through
incurable diseases marked by great suffering. Some
sufferers believe another fate worse than death can be
living with debilitating, progressive, and painful
chronic diseases without hope for a cure. They feel
as if they are dying by inches.
Today's Gospel offers a timeless snapshot of desperation
and hope. The first was a desperate parent whose little
girl had unexpectedly died. The second was a chronically
ill woman who had suffered for many years without a cure.
Desperate people do desperate things in times of need.
Both had run out of options and in desperation reached
out to Jesus, hopeful for a miracle.
Although the bereaved father and chronically ill woman
came from different walks of life, Jesus gave each his
full attention and compassion. The frantic father had
interrupted Jesus in the midst of his teachings, and
Jesus listened carefully to his pleas. He graciously
agreed to immediately accompany the father to his home
where the little girl lay dead. When the desperate
woman pushed her way through the crowd to touch the
hem of his cloak, Jesus stopped again. He refused to
go any further until he met the person who had touched
him. This story has a happy ending. The woman
experienced healing and the little girl was raised
from the dead.
Whatever our life situation might be, Christ walks with
us. When we cry out for help in times of need, he stops
and compassionately listens to our pleas. As we reach
out to touch the hem of his cloak, his healing power
continues to flow. So "turn your eyes on Jesus. Look
full in His wonderful face, and things of earth will
grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace"
(from the hymn, "Fix your eyes upon Jesus," words and
music by Helen H. Lemmel, 1922, first published in
"Glad Song," by the British National Sunday School Union. http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/t/u/turnyour.htm.)
will be moved from desperation to hope.
Oh God, thank you for understanding our experiences of
human desperation. Help us find hope through Jesus
Christ in our times of need. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
Please visit the Chi Rho Press Web site. You can order
using our convenient secure shopping cart and pay on line
using your credit card! http://www.ChiRhoPress.com
"Living as the Beloved" is available for $20.95 each,
plus shipping and handling. Six or more copies are
$15.75 each, plus shipping and handling. You can find
United States customers, please remember when ordering
on the Web site secure server to select "US Postal
Service Parcel Post" rather than the default setting
of "UPS Ground." It is much less expensive!