Lenten Devotional: March 21 | Mark 5:21-43

Monday, March 21 | Mark 5:21-43

Marcia Fellows 

Mark 5:21-43 recounts the encounters between Jesus and Jairus (a temple leader whose 12 year old daughter is critically ill) and an unnamed woman (a social pariah because of a 12-year crisis of Menorrhagia). These two stories are intertwined and appear to be about miracle healing. However, it seems to me that Jesus is using both to encompass his teaching about faith and trust. There is a subtle difference in definition between faith, which is “complete confidence or trust in someone or something” and  trust, which is a “firm reliance on truth, strength and character” of the same. Confidence and reliance in Christ are what God wants us to have. Jesus is not concerned with social standing or entitlement. He does respond to genuine need and the trust that He will answer – even when the answer is “no.” I have often been in situations  where my Faith is steady but my Trust wavers. 

Jairus feels himself entitled and comes to Jesus with faith in miraculous actions. He is interrupted and forced to wait by a desperate woman who has relied unsuccessfully on the world for remission of her illness. She has absolute Faith that Jesus is her hope and she struggles through the crowd looking for a simple touch of his robe. Jesus responds; she is healed. He calls her out to confess her truth in full, which she does with complete trust and humility, although she is terrified. This is to Christ a teachable moment about the need for faith and trust in him rather than miracles, for the woman (who he  addresses as “daughter” thereby removing her untouchable status), the crowd and Jairus. Jesus asks Jairus to trust him upon hearing that the child is dead. Only then does Jesus continue on to raise the girl in the confidence of a select few. 

I have found myself in many complex situations where my trust is not equal to my faith. After I have exhausted all other avenues and become desperate and empty, I finally give it over to God. It is at this time that I feel a softening of spirit, a warmth and a quiet assurance that relief has come. 

Marcia has been at Trinity for about eight years and considers her service to be in the order of “a little church mouse.” She has served the congregation variously as a lector, altar guild member and communion assistant. During her professional career, Marcia taught children of various age groups through the Montessori school method and has also led adult education settings.