Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: Interruptions provide opportunity to evaluate life, faith
- 2013 - 801 articles
- 2012 - 1954 articles
- 2011 - 2029 articles
- 2010 - 2139 articles
- 2009 - 2066 articles
- December 2009 - 163 articles
- November 2009 - 166 articles
- October 2009 - 231 articles
- September 2009 - 161 articles
- August 2009 - 136 articles
- July 2009 - 153 articles
- July 30th, 2009 (Thursday) - 20 articles
- July 29th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 10 articles
- July 24th, 2009 (Friday) - 1 articles
- July 23rd, 2009 (Thursday) - 18 articles
- July 22nd, 2009 (Wednesday) - 10 articles
- July 21st, 2009 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- July 17th, 2009 (Friday) - 11 articles
- July 16th, 2009 (Thursday) - 4 articles
- July 15th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 8 articles
- July 14th, 2009 (Tuesday) - 3 articles
- July 11th, 2009 (Saturday) - 1 articles
- July 10th, 2009 (Friday) - 6 articles
- July 9th, 2009 (Thursday) - 20 articles
- July 8th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 10 articles
- July 7th, 2009 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- July 2nd, 2009 (Thursday) - 27 articles
- June 2009 - 126 articles
- May 2009 - 164 articles
- April 2009 - 242 articles
- March 2009 - 204 articles
- February 2009 - 163 articles
- January 2009 - 157 articles
- 2008 - 1757 articles
|Interruptions provide opportunity to evaluate life, faith|
A preacher once said, "Interruptions are my ministry." That's a good thought for anyone who has family and friends. However, we can't always "blame" the interruptions on others. Have you ever headed towards the kitchen to grab a snack and then remembered something else you needed to do first? We can actually interrupt ourselves!
Maybe some of us are better off saying "Interruptions are my life." This may be an exaggeration for some, but one thing is for sure; how we handle those interruptions says a great deal about how we handle life.
There is a story in the Bible that is full of interruptions. Jesus, during a teaching session, is interrupted by a very prominent man in the community name Jairus. We quickly learn that his teenage daughter has died.
As the story goes, Jesus stops teaching (Interruption #1) and follows Jairus. They don't get very far when they encounter "Interruption #2." This time it's an older woman. She's been sick for 12 years and like Jairus, is in dire straits. Unlike Jairus, it would appear that she doesn't intentionally interrupt Jesus. She simply touches the fringe of his garment.
Jesus stops right where he is and asked, "Who touched me?" If Jairus is like some of us, he's probably mumbling under his breath, "We don't have time for this…"
Well, it's not that simple. The fringe of a Hebrew man's garment, according to tradition, is "so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them." In other words, it represents the Law of God. It would appear that any contact with this woman would cause a person to become ceremonially unclean, or defiled. Because she intentionally reaches out and touches this fringe, she intentionally defiled the Law of God. Did I mention she is in dire straits? Nevertheless, according to the Levitican law this deliberate act is to be punished, (Can you imagine the urgency Jairus must be feeling by now? "How much red tape is involved in this case?")
Well, hold on Little Buddy, I've been told there is an exception. If a child touches the fringe of the father's coat — its okay — even if this child is sick and/or ceremonially unclean. This could explain Jesus' response to the woman. "Take heart, Daughter, your faith has healed you." It would appear that he not only heals her; he brings her into the family of God, and therefore protects her. The woman is delivered, and Jairus is relieved. But remember, this is a mere interruption. As the story goes, they finally arrive to the home of Jairus. Jesus immediately asked everyone to leave.
How this Biblical event became the subject of conversation while I'm waiting at a fast-food drive-thru window is beyond me. I eventually asked the nice man at the window his thoughts on why Jesus would ask everyone to leave before bringing the teenager back to life. As he hands me my fries, he says, "Gotta get rid of those unbelievers!" That's the answer I've heard most of my life but all of a sudden it didn't make sense. Didn't Jesus calm the storm in the midst of fear and doubt? Aren't there countless other blessings bestowed among those who doubted?
Is it possible Jesus simply wants a moment to explain to this young girl what has happened and what she can expect when the others see her? Does he tell her at what lengths her dad took to help her? Does he provide these parents a moment alone with their daughter — without interruptions?
What I initially labeled as "Interruption #1" could actually lead us to a wonderful lesson about our day-to-day lives. What seems like an interruption to one person may seem as a "life or death" situation to another. It would appear our "interruptions" provide a wonderful opportunity to evaluate what is truly important in our lives. By the way, if you're faith is sometimes interrupted by doubt, never forget that God not only understands, He knows how to work in spite of it.
Jo Ann Cooper is a United Methodist pastor of the LA Conference.