Today’s gospel is one of those stories. I can remember hearing this story as a girl and thinking how wonderful it was that Jesus was concerned about Jairus’ daughter. The man was so sad about his little girl dying, and Jesus wanted to help her. It seemed like a family story. A children’s story.
Today, we are still in Chapter three of Mark, but the people who put the lectionary together- the ones who decided what to read and when- they skipped a good part of this chapter. They probably did it because the two paragraphs that they left out are a bit dry and full of lists, but…
It may feel rather backwards chronologically, but our gospel for today doesn’t come from one of the post-resurrection Easter appearances of Jesus, but from his final conversation with the disciples on Maundy Thursday. It was written however, for a community that was surely in need of Jesus’ good words.
Like many of the Hebrew psalms, the twenty-third is attributed to King David. Since he was a shepherd in his youth, it makes for a good story, but scholars can’t say for sure who wrote the song.
I believe that words are important and powerful. Not in a magical way, but in their ability to name and declare something for what it truly is or might be.
For centuries, people have told this story and talked about Thomas like he was some kind of loser. Doubting Thomas! It’s never meant as a compliment. And it’s really not fair. Our English translations of the text have done Thomas a disservice.
Sometimes I think that we have lost track of how incredible the story of Easter really is. We celebrate it every year. It comes right on schedule. Its date is carefully connected to the cycle of the Moon. And so we make our preparations. We set the decorations. But are we truly mindful of the…