09 November 2008

Sermon notes from 9 Nov 2008: Jairus' daughter

Text: Jairus’ daughter and the woman with the issue of blood
(Standard disclaimer--these are the notes from which I preached this morning--not the full text.)

Prayer isn’t just one topic among others, for Christians. It’s the point of the Christian life. The holy fathers teach us that prayer is the fruit, and works are the leaves, of the Christian life. Prayer is not one of the virtues; it’s the mother of them all, as St. Isaac the Syrian says, “Catch the mother (prayer) and the children (the virtues) will come to you.” And St. Paul says, First of all, then, I exhort that prayers be made…”

So let’s ask ourselves,

How is our prayer life?

Do we pray at all?

Do we pray mechanically?

Is prayer simply another thing on our daily to-do list?

Today’s text gives us lessons in prayer.

1. It doesn’t matter what kind of need.

a. Girl: alive for 12 years, now dying;

b. Woman: a living death for 12 years.

2. It doesn’t matter what your status is.

a. Girl: daughter of a prominent man;

b. Woman: nameless, one in a crowd.

3. It doesn’t matter whose is the need.

a. Girl: Another asked Jesus on her behalf;

b. Woman: She went to Christ on her own behalf.

4. Even the quality of your faith doesn’t matter.

a. Girl: Jairus, her father, had little faith;

b. Woman: wanted to keep her faith anonymous.

Note: Christ does not rebuke her touching his garment. Nor is this an exception—many later do the same, both w/Christ and w/ his apostles. It still happens today—story of St. Nektarios of Pentapolis.

5. What matters?

a. That we come to Christ in need.

“Cast all your cares on him, for he cares for you.”

b. That we come to Christ without fear.

“Let us come boldly before the throne of grace, that we may receive grace and mercy to help us in time of need.”

c. That we come to Christ in faith.

“He who would come to God must believe that He is, and that He rewards those who diligently seek him.”

So let us call on him in our time of need, our day of trouble. He will answer us, and we will glorify him, both here and in his Kingdom, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

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