Lamentations 3:22-33; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9, 13-15; Mark 5:21-43

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Think outside the box. It’s a phrase that has challenged us for years to consider new possibilities that we never before thought were possible. As someone who likes things neat and tidy, it’s easy to fall into the habit of confining ideas, concepts, and reality to an easily described “box”. For instance, if I were to talk about science, I would pull out of the “box” topics like physics, biology, chemistry, and so on.

Topics of theology work this way too. We like to put stuff into a small, neat box. Yet, this often leads us not to consider the bigger picture for many things. One such topic that comes up this week is resurrection. Now, when I mention resurrection, I tend to think of the last day. It’s the common church teaching of the resurrection of the dead on the last day. Resurrection, we believe is only what happens after we die, and when Jesus returns. But resurrection is actually a much bigger topic than the last day.

In our Gospel reading this week, Jesus encounters a ruler of the synagogue, Jairus. Jairus comes before Jesus, pleading for his help because his little daughter is sick and nearing death. Jesus agrees to go with him to his home. On the way, however, we meet another woman who has her own health issues. She has had a discharge of blood for twelve years and nothing anyone has done has helped her. But, like Jairus, this woman had heard reports about Jesus, which brings her before him. “For she said, ‘If I touch even his garments, I will be made well,” Mark 5:28.

These two stories are woven together so that we can see a pattern, a similarity between them. This woman with the discharge of blood has been suffering from her illness for a long time. It was so horrendous that Mark even calls it a “scourge”, like the scourging done to Jesus before his crucifixion. Yet, the similarity is with the daughter of Jairus. She dies before Jesus can make it to her, even being told by a member of the household. These two women show us the sad effects of sin. Due to sin in the world and in our lives, we all face the slow decay of health leading towards death.

But there’s another side to it as well. Jesus performs not just one resurrection, but two! When we talk about resurrection, we talk about those who have died. But a resurrection doesn’t always have to be precipitated by death. Rather, resurrection is the granting of new life. Thus, when the woman who touches Jesus is healed, she experiences (in small measure) a resurrection! She is made new! So too with the daughter. Jesus speaks to the daughter, “Talitha cumi,’ which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise,” Mark 5:41. She who had died is given new life! This is what Jesus does for all of us. Like the little girl, Jesus comes to us and says, “I say to you, arise!” By faith in Jesus and his death upon the cross, Jesus is granting to us the resurrection unto eternal life. He is restoring us through his forgiveness, mercy, grace, and faith so that we may experience even now the new life he won for us through his own resurrection! 

Pastor Sorenson


Heavenly Father, during His earthly ministry Your Son Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead. By the healing medicine of the Word and Sacraments pour into our hearts such love toward You that we may live eternally; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen!