Readings for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Lamentations 3:22-33; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9,13-15; Mark 5:21-43

          How beautiful is the cry of faith that we hear as we put our ear to Scripture. “The LORD is my portion!” says the prophet Jeremiah (Lam 3). “Come and heal my sick daughter!” a father says to Jesus (Mk 5). What about you? Have you ever been moved to such a beautiful cry of faith? It is “beautiful” not by its sound or by the feelings that accompany it. It is beautiful on account of the one to whom such a cry is directed – Jesus, our beautiful Savior.

But these expressions of trust almost never come from people whose lives are going well. The cry of faith is uttered by those whose lives have gone off script, off the rails. It is the cry of those who are confused or scared or desperate or in pain. Like Jeremiah who suffered regular scorn and abuse from his peers for speaking the Word of the LORD. Or like Jairus who had run out of medical options and still had a very sick daughter.

This is the nature of faith. It is borne out of need. And it grows stronger as the need becomes greater. It’s the person who’s been stripped of that which is most precious to them (loved ones, health, etc.) that’s able to say with greatest conviction, “The LORD is my portion!” Paul speaks from that same conviction in urging the wealthy Corinthian Christians to support more generously the victims of a regional famine (2Cor 8).