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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 27, 2011

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 27, 2011 ********** The new church year has begun. The 2011-2012 Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary is now on the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 27 2:09 PM
      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 27, 2011

      The new church year has begun. The 2011-2012
      Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary is now on
      the Web Site and available. Please order, go to

      Thank you!

      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.

      Faith in the face of death

      "Jesus allowed no one to follow him except Peter,
      James, and John, the brother of James. When they
      came to the house of the leader of the synagogue,
      he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing
      loudly. When he had entered, he said to them,
      'Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child
      is not dead but sleeping.' And they laughed at him.
      Then Jesus 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."
      Mark 5:37-40

      While there is life, there is hope. Hope and faith
      are closely intertwined. But hopeful faith is not
      always easy. While faith in Jesus can personally
      sustain and uplift us, it can also bring us into
      experiences of public contempt and ridicule. This
      was the situation of Jesus and Jairus as they arrived
      at the home of the synagogue ruler.

      The Bible mentions that upon his arrival, Jesus was
      greeted with the sight and sounds of many grieving
      people. The bad news had traveled fast. Concerned
      relatives, friends, and neighbors quickly came to
      mourn when Jairus' little girl died. Their custom
      was to gather for several days and nights of noisy
      lamentations. Comforting the bereaved was sincerely
      practiced in Judaism as a sacred duty.

      The air was filled with crying and loud wailing. Even
      though their religion taught the mourners their deaths
      were precious in the sight of God (Psalm 116:15), the
      cruel finality of death could not be denied. The loud
      lamentations were a way of honoring their sacred dead
      and paying final respects. Truly, death is universally
      our feared, dreaded, and even hated foe.

      In the midst of all this commotion, Jesus calmly told
      the gathered crowd to stop grieving. The child, he
      said, was not dead. The little girl was only sleeping.
      The mourners laughed in unbelief and ridicule. Jesus
      must be crazy. The little girl's corpse was lying in
      her bedroom in full view. Already her small body was
      growing cold. According to their custom, she would
      need to be quickly buried before her body began
      decomposing in the Middle Eastern heat.

      Their lack of belief and mocking laughter did not faze
      Jesus. He knew the crowd did not have the eyes of
      faith to see the miracle he was about to perform.
      Perhaps they were so blinded by sorrow, they could
      not see with the eyes of faith.

      Whatever reason for their disbelief, Jesus quietly but
      firmly shooed them away. When the scoffing mourners
      had left, only then would Jesus enter the room where
      the little girl's body was located, accompanied only
      by three of his faithful disciples and the bereaved
      parents. The disciples and grieving parents breathlessly
      waited to see what Jesus would do next.

      Put yourself in this story. Do you find yourself with
      the mocking crowd or with Jesus by the little girl's
      body? Take a moment to examine your beliefs about
      death and life after death. Do you believe Jesus can
      raise someone from the dead? Is this story just another
      timeless tragedy of parents outliving a child?
      Figuratively walk in the sandals of these bereaved
      parents and tell this story in your own words. Let
      it become part of your prayer.

      Could it be possible, O God, that someone could
      miraculously be raised from the dead? Is it possible
      that Jesus is more than a miraculous healer? Is it
      true that there is hope beyond the grave? Give us
      the eyes of faith needed to find divine hope in the
      face of death. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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