Edited from ‘Preaching the Word’ by Tom Clancy
When the state of origin football game gets very one-sided, the sports commentator often remarks that it would now take nothing short of a miracle to save the losing side. Occasionally, that kind of miracle happens. Some undaunted hero produces unsuspected reserves of skill and endurance and so turns the game around unexpectedly.
Something similar, and something more, happened in the life of Christ as we read the alternative gospel for today, taken from Mark 5, 21-43. The daughter of Jairus was sick, indeed, dying. Only a miracle could save her. The father pleaded with Christ to turn back the tide of illness. It looked as if Christ came too late. The girl had died.
Undaunted, Christ prayed over the girl and through the hidden power of God living in him, he performed his miracle and restored the girl to life. Even though it benefited only one little girl, God used this miracle as a sign that Christ was truly his Son.
In our time, the game of life seems very one-sided – selfishness and evil look all set to triumph, or so it seems as we read and listen to our daily news. It will take a miracle to turn things around. Each of us is called to work our own miracle, a little miracle of love and service. It may only benefit one lonely person, one member of my family, one invalid, one traveller, one neighbour or one famine victim, but it will be a sign that Christ still lives in us who are his followers. Each of us is called to produce reserves of compassionate care so that hope and trust in God and in each other may be restored to life.
In today’s reading from St John’s Gospel, we see that Jesus wants us to become children of light. He himself has come so that we may not live in darkness but in the light. This means that we ought to do those things that we know are good and will bring us closer to the One who is Light itself. Like Jesus, may we blaze with light and love till the very end of our earthly lives.
Today’s question: How can I shine God’s light on to the dark situations of our world – people trafficking, sex tourism, child soldiers, corruption, and so on?
• Let us pray today for all who bring the light of Christ to the places of our world where darkness tries to screen out the light
• Give thanks for the first missionaries to the Torres Strait, and for the believers there today who are their legacy.
Text: Robert McLean, Church to Church Missioner
© Anglican Board of Mission, 2012