Sunday 27th June 2021

An act of worship at home

Call to Worship

Come, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever.

Reading          Mark 5: 21-43

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered round him; and he was by the lake. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.’ So he went with him.

And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, ‘If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.’ Immediately her haemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?” ’ He looked all round to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’

While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?’ But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’ He 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 he 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. He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha cum’, which means, ‘Little girl, get up!’ And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.


The woman had plenty of reasons to be terrified. She wasn’t supposed to be there but she was desperate. Surely if she could touch even just his clothes she would be healed. But she wasn’t supposed to be there, and if she was discovered she was in real trouble. Culture, custom and law all said she wasn’t supposed to be there. She had plenty of reasons to be frightened and plenty of people to be frightened of including Jesus when she made him unclean.

How many people are like her in some way? Creeping around with heads down afraid to be recognised, desperately hiding the truth about themselves for fear of being shunned but desperate to find some cure, some relief, but frightened of what it would take to obtain it.

She pushed her way through the crowd, face hidden, name unknown, taking her chances. It was only a split-second opportunity, Jesus was on a mercy mission, dealing with an emergency. A little girl was dying.

But the thought remains “If I can just touch his clothes as he hurries past, surely that will be enough. Surely that will make me better.” So she pushed through the crowd and touched his clothes as he hurried by. And immediately she knew. She had been right! She was healed. No harm done. No one had recognised her.

But on his way to an emergency Jesus has stopped. “Who touched me?” She froze in fear. She’d been found out. She meant no harm, but now the game was up. She had plenty of reasons to be afraid. She fell to her knees at Jesus’ feet, shaking like a leaf, and confessed. She knew she was in for it but there was nowhere to hide.

He reached out his hand “Daughter, you took a risk of faith and it is alright. You are healed! May peace, health and happiness be yours, and may your illness be gone for ever.” She hasn’t been shunned, she has been touched by one who knew why she was supposed to be untouchable. She has been offered healing beyond her wildest dreams. Social healing. Emotional healing. Total healing. Public acceptance.

How often are we just like her? How often can we not see beyond the little bit of something that will make life more bearable? How often do we look for nothing more than that from Jesus and from his body, the church? A little bit of something to make us feel a bit better. A little touch to get us through the week. How often do we think that we’re not worth any more than that? Surely God has got more important things to do, more important people to attend to? So we just slip through the crowd for a little touch to make life bearable and then slip off again – unnoticed, unimportant, unchallenged, unblessed, masks still in place.

But Jesus thinks we’re worth more than that. There is nothing else that matters so much that Jesus would pass us by. Jesus is not content to see us just get a little touch to make us feel better. He wants to see us healed and whole, strong and confident, accepted and loved. He wants to do more than just heal our wounds and stop the bleeding. He wants to lead us into a wholeness we couldn’t have imagined, and a fullness of life beyond our wildest dreams.

If we dare to offer ourselves in trembling truthfulness, then he will offer himself to us and open himself to us

so that we might be healed and drawn into his wholeness and raised to new life, to fullness of life, and be reconciled to him and in him to the glory of God and the joy of all the earth. Amen.


Heal us, Emmanuel, here we are
We long to feel Thy touch
Deep wounded souls to Thee we fly
O Saviour hear our cry

1. Our faith is feeble, we confess
We faintly trust Thy word
But will You pity us the less?
Be that far from You Lord!

2. Remember him who once applied
With trembling for relief
“Lord, I believe,” with tears he cried
“O help my unbelief!”

3. She, too, who touched you in the press
And healing virtue stole
Was answered, “Daughter, go in peace
Thy faith has made thee whole.”

4. Like her, with hopes and fears we come
To touch You if we may
O send us not despairing home
Send none unhealed away

Heal us, Emmanuel, here we are
We long to feel Thy touch
Deep wounded souls to Thee we fly
O Saviour hear our cry


Lord, we pray for all who are ill.

Come, and lay your hands on them.

We pray for all who tend the sick.

Come, and lay your hands on them.

We pray for medical staff. Come, and lay your hands on them.

We pray for carers: we remember those who care for their own loved ones and those who care for the loved ones of others. Come, and lay your hands on them.

We pray for researchers and scientists. Come, and lay your hands on them.

We pray for support services: for cleaners and managers, porters and budget holders.

Come, and lay your hands on them.

We pray for paramedics and those who go into difficult and unknown situations.

Come, and lay your hands on them.

We pray for medical staff who work beyond their own communities, for medical charities, mission organisations, campaigning groups. Come, and lay your hands on them.

We pray for those we know in our own community who are ill. Come, and lay your hands on them.

Grant us all a healing touch, Lord. Give us the wisdom and respect to see each person we help as an individual,

a child of God. Amen.


May we go with the blessing and in the power of our caring, healing,

Lord, to meet the needs of his children,
wherever he sends us.


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