Worship Helps for Pentecost 6


Daughter of Jairus
Joseph Brickey

Worship Theme: What are we to think when a baby dies? Or a 12 year-old girl? Or we, at any age, see death looming? ‘Believe only’ Jesus said. Is that ‘just believe’ as if believing is something easy, or minor? No. He means no fear!  Believe only. God calls us away from all trust in ourselves or anyone else to rely only in him and his promises in Christ, our Risen Savior.

Old Testament: 2 Samuel 12:11-25
11This is what the Lord says. Look! I am raising up disaster against you from your own house. Right in front of your eyes I will take your wives and give them to your neighbor, and he will lie down with your wives in the sight of the sun. 12Because you acted in secret, I will do this in front of all Israel in broad daylight.
13David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Nathan said to David, “The Lord himself has put away your sin. You will not die. 14Nevertheless, because by this deed you have treated the Lord with utter contempt, the child that is born to you shall surely die.” 15Then Nathan went to his house.
The Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne for David, and the child became sick. 16David sought the Lord’s mercy for the child. David fasted and spent the night lying on the ground. 17The elders of his household stood beside him to pick him up off the ground, but he was not willing, and he would not eat food with them.
18On the seventh day the child died. The servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, because they said, “Look! When the child was living, we spoke to David, but he did not listen to what we said. How will we speak to him now when the child is dead? He might do something harmful.”
19When David saw that his servants were whispering together, he understood that the child was dead. So David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “Yes, he is dead.”
20Then David got up from the ground, washed, put on lotion, and changed his clothes. He went to the House of the Lord and worshipped. He then went back to his house and asked for food. So they prepared a meal for him, and he ate.
21His servants said to him, “What are you doing? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept. But when the child died, you got up and ate food.”
22He said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept because I said, ‘Who knows? Will the Lord be gracious to me and let my child live?’ 23Now he has died. Why should I fast? Am I able to return him to life again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
24David comforted Bathsheba, his wife. He went to her and lay down with her. She gave birth to a son. David called him Solomon. The Lord loved him, 25and the Lord sent a message by the hand of Nathan the prophet that he should be called Jedidiah because of the Lord.

1. Why is it significant that David and Bathsheba’s son died on his seventh day?

2. What is the last thing God records about what David said regarding his dead baby?

3. What hope does this seem to show?

Epistle: 2 Timothy 1:8–14  
8So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Instead, join with me in suffering for the gospel while relying on the power of God. 9He saved us and called us with a holy calling, not because of our works, but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10and it has now been revealed through the appearance of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11For this gospel I was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher of the Gentiles, 12and that is why I am suffering these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.

3. Timothy must not be ashamed of the gospel, though that gospel had gotten Paul imprisoned and soon would get him beheaded. What should Timothy do?

4. Jesus has not just defeated death. What else has he done? (See 1:10).

Gospel: Mark 5:21-24a, 35-43  
21When Jesus had again crossed over in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him near the sea. 22Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet 23and repeatedly pleaded with him, “My little daughter is near death. Please come and place your hands on her so that she may be healed and live.”
24Jesus went with him.
35While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue ruler’s house arrived, saying, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher anymore?”
36But when Jesus heard this report, he told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.” 37He did not allow anyone to follow him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. 38They went into the house of the synagogue ruler, and Jesus saw a commotion with people weeping and wailing loudly. 39When he entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.”
40They laughed at him. But after he put everyone out, he took the father of the child, her mother, and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41Grasping the hand of the child, he said to her, “Talitha, koum!” (When translated, that means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”) 42Immediately the little girl stood up and began to walk around. (She was twelve years old.) They were completely and utterly amazed. 43Then he gave them strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and he told them to give her something to eat.

5. How did Jairus show faith in Jesus?

6. What words did Jesus speak in 5:36 that should stick with us? Why?


Answers:
1. The boy would have been circumcised on the eighth day of his life, a week after his birth (Leviticus 12:3). God said any uncircumcised male would be cut off from God’s people.

2. David said, ‘I will go to him, but he will not return to me.’

3. David seems to have expected to be reunited with his baby after death. David’s sin has cost the child's life, but David remains confident of God’s undeserved love.

4. Timothy should join with Paul in suffering for the gospel. He should preach with sound words, just as Paul had. He should guard the truth of the gospel, like a prison guard watches a prisoner, knowing his very life is at stake.

5. Jesus has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light, through the gospel.

6. Jairus came to Jesus knowing he could do what no one else could. He believed that Jesus could put his hands on his dying daughter and she would be healed.

7. When Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid, just believe,’ he was speaking to a situation that looked impossible. The child was dead; anyone could see it. But nothing is impossible with God. Jesus lovingly restored the girl to life. Think of all the reasons, therefore, we can have sure hope. Since Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter back to life:
·       Jesus is God
·       Death does not faze Jesus
·       Even Jesus’ seeming delays are part of his good plan
·       Jesus is all-powerful; raises the dead effortlessly
·       Jesus promised to raise us from the dead to eternal life
·       Whenever Jesus promises us grace, we don’t have to do anything, for we merit nothing; he tells us ‘Believe only.


Putting your faith into action
The apostle Paul writes: “For your sakes he became poor, so that you, through his poverty, might become rich.” When we consider what Christ gave up to come to earth, and what he suffered for us on the cross, God’s love becomes evident. In receiving this love, we become rich beyond measure, for there is no price we can put on the gift of eternal life. In response to such generous giving, we also learn to give generously.


A reading from the Book of Concord for Pentecost 6
Although troubles still remain, Scripture interprets these not as the prices for eternal death.

Troubles are not always punishments or signs of wrath. Indeed, terrified consciences should be taught that there are more important purposes for afflictions, so that they do not think God is rejecting them when they see nothing but God’s punishment and anger in troubles. The other more important purposes are to be considered, that is, that God is doing His strange work so that He may be able to do His own work, as Isaiah 28 teaches.  When the disciples asked about the blind man who sinned, Christ replies that the cause of his blindness is not sin, but that “the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:2–3). In Jeremiah it is said, “If those who did not deserve to drink the cup must drink it …” (49:12).  So the prophets, John the Baptist, and other saints were killed.  Therefore, troubles are not always punishments for certain past deeds, but they are Godworks, intended for our benefit, and that God’s power might be made more apparent in our weakness.

Paul says God’s strength “is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Because of God’s will, our bodies should be sacrifices, to declare our obedience, and not to pay for eternal death. God has another price for that: the death of His own Son. – Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XIIB, Confession and Satisfaction, paragraphs 60-63


765  Day by Day

1  Day by day, your mercies, Lord, attend me,
Bringing comfort to my anxious soul.
Day by day, the blessings, Lord, you send me
Draw me nearer to my heav’nly goal.
Love divine, beyond all mortal measure,
Brings to naught the burdens of my quest;
Savior, lead me to the home I treasure,
Where, at last, I’ll find eternal rest.

2  Day by day, I know you will provide me
Strength to serve and wisdom to obey;
I will seek your loving will to guide me
O’er the paths I struggle day by day.
I will fear no evil of the morrow;
I will trust in your enduring grace.
Savior, help me bear life’s pain and sorrow;
Till in glory I behold your face.

3  Oh, what joy to know that you are near me
When my burdens grow too great to bear;
Oh, what joy to know that you will hear me
When I come, O Lord, to you in prayer.
Day by day, no matter what betide me,
You will hold me ever in your hand.
Savior, with your presence here to guide me,
I will reach at last the promised land.

Text: Carolina Sandell Berg, 1832–1903; tr. Robert Leaf, b. 1936 © 1992 Augsburg Fortress.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.


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