A distraught father and a disenfranchised woman seek out Jesus for restoration in this coming Sunday’s Gospel lesson. Jairus’ daughter hovers at death’s door and a woman beset with long-term menopausal issues is isolated from the community of Israel. Today the daughter might be in hospice care and the woman in the hospital; but they would still both be isolated by challenges they faced. And they came to Jesus; and Jesus came to them; and He restored them to the fellowship of community. We are individuals that live in groups; neither one can be dismissed but at our peril. It is reality. We develop rituals and practices to deal with that tension. The same rituals try to give us some structure in the every day to cope with the chaos of constant change. That can crush us in aloneness when we are outside the group. The rituals seek to provide the community, the group, some protection from the risk of overwhelming demands and needs from the individual. Unfortunately the rituals can sometimes blind us to the isolation of the individual. And they came to Jesus. And He comes to us. Jesus came as an individual for all individuals. Jesus came to and for the entire group that is the human race and its little pieces and parts… nations and societies, communities, families and churches. And He touches us… each in our individuality and
in our groupings… nations and societies, communities, families and churches. How much of our last year hasn’t been chaotic? Very little, it seems whether in society, family or our congregation. Change and chaos go hand in glove, for change pushes us to adapt to the new. We are not interchangeable parts; we are individuals; and individuals affect groups; and groups shape individuals; and rituals fade and develop. And we come to Jesus; and Jesus comes to us. Jesus restores us not only to His Father, but also to ourselves and to one another and shapes us anew. Redeemed, restored, forgiven, I/we am/are at peace with God… and with one another.