Lamentation – July 5, 2015


2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27    Mark 5:21-43


Most of us have probably heard…and

laughed at…the tongue-in-cheek prayer for patience.  “Lord, grant me patience…and grant it to me

right now.”  The reality is that most of

us have…at one time or another…lifted up that prayer in sincerity…seeking help

for ourselves. 

It’s not hard to find yourself in a

situation where you feel a need to do that.

I find it often.  There are things

I want to make happen.  There are people

I want to take certain actions or refrain from other actions.  There are things I want to do with my

time.  And…I want all of this to

happen…right now.  My guess is that you

can say the same thing. 

The lack of patience…or impatience…is

really not the problem.  It’s a symptom

of a larger problem… faith.  You see…a

person with faith will accept and act on the belief that God will get us where

God wants us…in God’s time…and it will be a good place.  The person with faith…listens to…and works

with God…and the talents God has given that person…to get to that place. 

It may take awhile.  Just check

with the three main characters in today’s scripture lessons.  You’ll see that God got them where God wanted

them…that it was a good place…but it didn’t happen immediately…and the path was

not always easy.  But…each of them

displayed faith. 


David had been anointed by Samuel…at

God’s direction…to become the king of Israel.

David knew that was his destiny.

But…it didn’t come easily or quickly.

For years Saul pursued David…working to do him in.  In fact…when David learned of the death of

Saul and his son Jonathan…David was on the run…basically in exile among the


But…because David had faith…he let the

Lord lead him and protect him during those years on the run.  Because David had faith…and reverence for

God’s desires…he didn’t rejoice when he received the news of Saul’s death.  After all…Saul…too…had been chosen by God to

lead Israel.  In fact…David had the man

who claimed to have killed Saul…put to death. 

Jairus was the leader of the

synagogue.  He wasn’t a Pharisee or a

Scribe or a rabbi.  He was the lay leader

who made sure everything was managed well in the synagogue’s operation.  But…he too…had faith…faith that was

demonstrated patiently.  Think about

this…his twelve year old daughter was dying.

Jairus…believed Jesus could keep her from death.  Yet…when Jesus stopped walking toward Jairus’ house to take care of the woman who had touched his robe…Jairus did not say…”Hey, I was here first.  I’m more

powerful and more important.  My daughter

is near death.  This woman is only

bleeding.”  Jairus had faith that Jesus

could heal his daughter…and acted on that faith…or perhaps it’s better said

that because of his faith…he didn’t take certain actions…to push Jesus away

from healing the woman. 

The un-named woman had faith.  Jesus told her that she demonstrated it.  She had been in her predicament for a dozen

years…yet continued to seek a cure…didn’t decide that it was futile and give

up.  That cure…she realized came in faith

in Jesus Christ. 

There are some things we should note

about faith…and its results. 


Notice first the status of David…Jairus and the

woman.  They were unalike in many

ways.  Jairus was a man with power and

position in the community.  He probably

had significant financial resources.  He

was probably well educated.  David had

been a shepherd…and was a man on the run.

The woman is of such low esteem and recognition in the community that

her name does not appear anywhere in the story.

She was an outcast from her community.

She had spent all of her resources.

She had nothing…in a worldly sense.

Faith is available to…and can be exercised by anyone.  For God and Jesus…everybody…even the

nobodies…is somebody. 

For faith to be effective it has to be directed

to God and Jesus.  An object…no matter

what it symbolizes…is not where our faith belongs.  A person…no matter his or her

position…pronouncements…or wealth and power…are not where we direct our


Jairus’ daughter and the woman were saved

because of faith that was directed to Jesus.

It was because of his faith in Yahweh that David was saved and became


Faith shows persistence in overcoming any

obstacles.  The woman worked her way

through the crowd and overcame her sense of shame in her confession to Jesus in

front of the crowd.  Jairus disregarded

the announcement of his daughter’s death and ignored the laughter of the

mourners.  He trusted Jesus’ verdict that

she was only sleeping…even though it appeared otherwise. 


The final note on faith is that faith is

embodied in action…something that can be seen.

Look at Jairus…the un-named woman…and David.  They didn’t do nothing.  Faith alone does not get us there.  Faith in God and Jesus…should result in

actions that give us the willingness and ability to listen to and to ask for

God’s leading.  Faith should give us the

patience to let God get us there in God’s time.

Faith should give us the willingness and ability to actively follow…even

if we’re not sure where God is leading.    Faith should lead us to the actions that help

God and Jesus get us where they want us.


As we celebrate this national holiday weekend…instead

of echoing our personal lamentations of impatience or dissatisfaction with our personal

and national situation…let us renew our faith…remembering that like David… Jairus…and

the un-named woman…faith in God will take us where we need to go.  Then let us put that faith to work.  Faith should be demonstrated in action.