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Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Readings – II Samuel 1: 1,17-27; Psalm 30; II Corinthians 8: 7-15; Mark 5: 21-43

Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, Jairus, “Do not fear, only believe”.  Then, he went to Jarius’ home to see his ill daughter.  As he went, “he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly”.  The crowds stated that the girl had already died.  Yet, Jesus declared, “The child is not dead but sleeping”. “And they laughed at him.” 

Jesus remained “clear eyed”.  Jesus did not fear.  Jesus believed.  Jesus saw clearly beyond the fear, time after time after time.  He believed, and was able to see clearly the spirit of God at work in the people around him. 

Remember the very popular song by Johnny Nash in 1972.

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.
I can see all the obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day. 

Folks, in life we know there are a lot of obstacles; there are a lot of dark clouds that have the propensity to obscure our sight. 

We know that fear builds obstacles, that fear builds clouds, that fear blinds us.  Also, fear easily promotes anger, fear grows anger.  Just watch T.V., click on the internet, listen to political debate.  Fear grows anger, and anger builds obstacles, creates clouds and obscures our vision. 

Jesus said to Jarius, and his spirit says to us, “Do not fear, only believe”.  How do we live our belief, how do live what we proclaim in the creeds?  How do we resist getting caught up in the current winds of fear and anger that are swirling about? 

St. Paul in his letter to the small congregation in Corinth, Greece, gives us a tool to withstand fear, a tool to withstand anger, and all the obstacles and clouds that can obscure our sight.  He wrote:

we want you to excel…in… this generous undertaking. 

Generosity, yes, generosity, enables us to see clearly, enables us to live more fully into “a bright sunshiny day”.  Generous Jesus gave himself time after time after time.  He walked among the people and listened to:

the fishermen, the tax collectors, the merchants, the rich and the poor,
the synagogue leaders, especially the women, the ill, the distraught,
and even Roman soldiers.

Jesus met them all where they were, met them as they were with no preconditions.  Jesus gave them his attention; there was no holding in reserve, Jesus gave them his all. 

Jesus was generous, not in the way we usually think.  What Jesus gave was much more valuable than financial support.  He gave of himself; he gave of his goodness and of his belief in their goodness. 

I would suggest that being generous with our treasure is the easiest.

I would suggest that being generous with our talent is not so difficult.

I would suggest that being generous with our time can be a bit challenging.

But being generous with our whole selves, with all our hearts, is the most demanding of all.  It is the most dear, it is also the most needed in the face of fear, in the face of anger. 

To give our heart-felt selves in today’s environment of dark clouds and obstacles, to fearful and angry people is so much needed, and so Jesus-like.  We are called:

to walk beside family members with open hearts,
to walk beside church members with open hearts,
to walk beside community members with open hearts

in today’s environment of dark clouds and obstacles when they are fearful and angry. 

I invite us in the days to come – be generous with your heart-self as walk beside the fearful and the angry.                                

I invite you to see clearly and to live more fully into a “bright, bright sunshiny day” that awaits us all. 

Amen

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