June 30, 2024: Holy Interruptions

dew drops on grass

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Holy Interruptions

You’re running late and someone stops you for help. The phone rings and you’re tempted to let it go to voicemail but pick it up, hearing the voice of a friend who just received a difficult diagnosis. You never know where an unexpected encounter may lead, or the potential for hope that it contains.

Jesus is approached by a frantic father (and respected leader of the community). Jairus begs Jesus to help his daughter, who is very ill. Jesus leaves at once with Jairus. Another desperate soul, almost too weak to stand, seizes this opportunity to touch the hem of Jesus’ clothes as he rushes past. Her small, hope-filled gesture stops Jesus in his tracks.

“Who touched me?” he asks the surprised faces pressing in around them. An unexpected encounter between Jesus and Jairus is interrupted by another encounter, between Jesus and an outcast woman. Jesus stops to bring healing and honor to the frightened woman before him. Not used to people making him wait, Jesus makes Jairus wait as he responds to another little one in need.

When word arrives that Jairus’s daughter has died, the crowd responds with hopelessness. Jesus tells them to stop mourning and goes to the girl’s bedside. He takes her hand, and just as Jesus’ touch brought healing to the untouchable woman, the little girl awakens and is restored to life.

Are we too busy, too distracted, or too overwhelmed to embrace the holy moments around us each day? Do we miss opportunities to be part of what God wants to accomplish through us, because it doesn’t fit our expectations or our calendar? May Jesus’ openness to the unexpected encounters in this text inspire us to welcome “holy interruptions” as moments to bear witness to the power of God’s hope and healing presence.

Tracy Pryor, pastor, Redeemer Moravian Church
Dublin, Ohio