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5th Sunday after Pentecost - Lord of Life and Health Sunday - "Interruptions" Homily by Pr. Jim


27 June 2021

Grace Lutheran Church

Ashland, Oregon

The Rev. James A. Kabel, Intentional Interim

“Lord of Life and Health” Sunday


Welcome to Grace Lutheran Church. We are happy that you have joined us for worship this morning. May all present grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in a love and desire to serve him. If you are a guest or visitor and have not done so already, please honor us by signing our Guest Book in the entrance hall of the church as you leave. If you have no church home of your own in the area, we invite you to make Grace Lutheran Church the center of your worship, learning, fellowship, and service. Pastor Jim or this morning’s lay assistant will be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning our parish. Come to worship with us again and often!

AS WE GATHER   A Healing Community

A woman finds healing by touching Jesus’ cloak, and a girl is restored to life when he takes her by the hand. In both cases a boundary is crossed: in Jesus’ time the hemorrhaging woman was considered ritually unclean, polluting others by her touch, and anyone who touched her also became unclean. In Mark’s gospel Jesus breaks down barriers, from his first meal at a tax collector’s house to his last breath on the cross as the temple curtain is torn in two. We dare to touch Jesus in our “uncleanness” and to live as a community that defines no one as an outsider. We are blessed to be a blessing.


God, our Creator, earth has many languages, but your Gospel announces your love to all men in one heavenly speech. Make us messengers of the Good News to everyone everywhere; through the power of the Spirit and in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.





Today is a day to affirm that Jesus Christ is our Healer, and that we have been called

to be a healing community. Our task is to reach out in loving and caring ways to the broken in spirit or body. As Jesus touches us through Word and Sacrament, we are empowered to reach out and touch others with Jesus Christ for healing and serving. We have been blessed to be a blessing.

PRELUDE Blessed Assurance—Larry Shackley

Tatsiana Ascheichyk, Piano


In the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“As I live,” says the Lord, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that

the wicked turn from their ways and live.”

   If we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins

and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The Savior whom we meet today is Christ the Healer, who calls us to be patient.

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you—in our

thinking, in our speaking, and in our doing. We take your mercy for

granted, and expect your loving kindness on demand. For the sake of

your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us our sins and call

us by your Holy Spirit to the new life you ordained for us, to the glory of

your holy Name.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning. Through the Holy Spirit given to us, God’s love has

been poured into your hearts. For the sake of his Son, sins are forgiven in the

Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirt. Amen.



The grace of our Risen Savior, the love of God, and the communion of the

Holy Spirit be with you all.

               And also with you.

NOW THE FEAST   Refrain:     Now the feast and celebration,

All of creation sings for joy

to the God of life and love and freedom:

praise and glory forevermore!

  1. Now is the feast of the Lamb once slain,

whose blood has freed and united us to

be one great people of God. Refrain

  1. Power and riches, wisdom and might,

all honor and glory to Christ forever. Refrain

  1. For God has come to dwell with us, to make

us people of God; to make all things new. Refrain


Almighty God our Father, we implore you to bear the prayers of your

people. Be our strong defense against all harm and danger, that we

may live and grow in faith and hope; through Jesus Christ, our Savior

and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,

now and forever. Amen.

FIRST LESSON Lamentations 3:22-33

[The Book of Lamentations is one of the most important sources of information about the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 587 BC. Though people admit that God’s judgment was just,

today’s reading declares a fervent trust that God will not leave them forever.]

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for one to bear the yoke in youth, to sit alone in silence when the LORD has imposed it, to put one’s mouth to the dust (there may yet be hope), to give one’s cheek to the sinner, and be filled with insults. For the LORD will not reject forever. Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love, for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone.

The word of the Lord.

             Thanks be to God!

PSALM 30 (Read responsively)

Refrain: At the works of your hands, I lift up my voice in song; I sing for joy.

Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name.

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts

a lifetime;weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Refrain

To you, O LORD, I called; to the LORD I cried for mercy. Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help. You turned my wailing into dancing, that my heart may sing

to you and not be silent. Refrain

SECOND LESSON 2nd Corinthians 8:7-15

[Paul encourages the Corinthians to honor their commitment to participate in the collection his churches are organizing for the Christians in Jerusalem. He presents Jesus as an example of selfless stewardship and reminds them that Christians have received abundantly so that they

can share abundantly.]

Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you—so we want you to excel also in the generous undertaking.

I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might

become rich. And in this matter I am giving you my advice: It is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something—now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means. For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one does not have. I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. As it is written

“The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little.”

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God!

SPECIAL MUSIC Eternal Father, Strong to Save—Marty Parks

GOSPEL Mark 5:21-43

The Holy Gospel according to Mark, the 5th chapter. Glory to you, O Lord.

[Jairus, a respected leader, begs Jesus to heal his daughter. A woman with a hemorrhage is ritually unclean, treated as an outcast in Jewish society. Both Jairus and the unnamed woman come to Jesus in faith, believing in his power to heal and bring life out of death.]

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged Jesus repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live. So he went with him.

And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd, and said, “Who touched my clothes?” And his disciples said to him, “You see how the crowd is pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?” He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

While he was still speaking, some of the people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” But over-hearing what they had said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

     Praise to you, O Christ.

HYMN LSB 846 Your Hand, O Lord, in Days of Old

Your hand, O Lord, in days of old,

Was strong to heal and save;

It triumphed over ills and death,

O’er darkness and the grave.

To You, they came, the blind, the mute,

The palsied and the lame,

The lepers in their misery,

The sick with fevered frame.

Your touch then, Lord, brought life and health,

Gave speech and strength and sight;

And youth renewed and frenzy calmed

Revealed You, Lord of light.

And now, O Lord, be near to bless,

Almighty as before,

In crowded street, by beds of pain,

As by Gennes’ret’s shore.

O be our great deliv’rer still,

The Lord of life and death;

Restore and quicken,

Soothe and bless,

With your life giving breath,

Give wisdom’s healing pow’r

That whole and sick and weak and strong

May praise you evermore.

HOMILY Interruptions—Pr. Jim Text: The Gospel Lesson

+ In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. +

Just when you sit down to dinner, you get a phone call. A sudden and unexpected rain shower ends your picnic. The stock market plunges and changes your retirement plans. You get a call from your physician asking that you to come into his office for a visit . . . immediately! Our lives are riddled with interruptions. We hate how they disrupt our lives.

Today’s Gospel is also riddled with interruptions. The leader of the synagogue, Jairus, and his unnamed daughter, had their lives interrupted by illness and death. An unnamed woman had her life interrupted for twelve years by a never-ending hemorrhage. Both Jairus and the woman interrupt Jesus’ busy life with pleas for help. Such interruptions are enough to drive us crazy.

Yet notice … Jesus moves among God’s children in a flow of mercy that gives life to all. This child is not dead but sleeping, He declares. From His vantage point, it’s the truth … the eternal truth. The One who created life out nothing, who made this round earth roll—He will bring life again, and again, and again to those who put their trust and hope in Him.

Interruption 1 … The child we hear about today is a young girl in need of new life … 12 years of age and not yet a woman. For some she would not have been worth the bother: a girl child seen only for her property value, a commodity to be bartered or sold. Against all social convention, we see a man … who really loves his daughter … loves her enough to fall at the feet of Jesus and ask for help … loves her enough to know that only the One who creates life … who set the whole universe in motion … only he will be able to save his daughter and bring her into the fullness of the life for which she was created.

And so Jairus implores Jesus to come and heal his little girl and to heal her, to save her from death, her body from destruction. Before God, even the most powerful man is but a beggar. Before God, he asks for more than any man could give. He asks for the same touch that reached into the mud and formed the first man and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life … the same hand that wasn’t afraid to touch a leper. Jesus hears his plea and follows him. He who had others to follow now Himself follows, with a great crowd thronging behind Him.

Interruption 2 … Hidden in the crowd is yet another who knows there are no earthly powers to help her. She’s tried every doctor and probably every quack in town … to no avail. For twelve years she had been bleeding … as many years as Jairus’ daughter had been alive. And all the while she was considered unclean and untouchable … separated from family and friends … unable to join in prayer with anyone at the synagogue. Alone … desperate and destitute … she sees Jesus and follows him without his command.

Then, when no one else is looking she reaches out and touches the hem of His garment. It’s as close as she can get to the only One who has the power to give her life. But there are no secrets that can be kept from this One who can see into every human heart. He who knows in His very body the power to create life anew … feels His own power released … released by one who has faith in Him. It might have been in character for Jesus to rebuke the woman’s interruption. After all, who was she to sneak up behind him and touch his cloak? He was a busy man! He had no time to waste with this withered old woman. He had plans and a schedule to keep. He had to make it to Jairus’ house before his daughter died.

At His word, like Jairus before her, she will fall down before Him and tell Him the whole truth. And as he had healed her, he will now heal her heart. “Daughter,” he calls her, “Daughter,” and she will never again be alone. When everyone else had discarded her as an unclean outcast, as Jesus blesses her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease.”

Just think about what St. Mark is trying to tell us: Jesus is different! For him, there isn’t anything like an inconvenient interruption. He takes time to commend the woman’s faith. Even when the delay made Jesus too late to save Jairus’ daughter from death, Jesus is undeterred. No big deal! Jairus’s daughter is not dead. She is only “asleep.” He interrupts death and wakes her up just in time for breakfast!

We live in a world where interruptions are despised. We foolishly believe that our plans and schemes are the only ways to navigate life. Jesus boldly interrupts all that. Jesus is God’s interruption of our old, dying lives destined for the cemetery. Jesus interrupts with his boundless grace and mercy for those who fear that there is no escape from the last great interruption of death. The interruptions performed by Jesus in these two consecutive miracles foreshadow the last great interruption that will at last end the grip of the cemetery on all of us: Resurrection.

Suddenly life is different. All those interruptions, which we despise because they mess up the life we think we can control. All those interruptions now become opportunities … opportunities to give ourselves away in Christ for the sake of the world. We interrupt the old world where someone is always asking, “What’s in it for me?” by now asking, “What can I do for you?” The tears of a grieving friend who interrupts our morning coffee … the hungry faces of the poor … the naked … the hungry … the broken and the dying who interrupt our pleasant comfortable lives are no longer inconveniences and distractions but opportunities and invitations to love the world in the Name of our crucified and risen Lord.

And just as the resurrection interrupts our lives to bless us, so it is also the means by which we can bless the world.

Blessed to be a blessing. Such is the life to which we are called by our Lord: Blessed to be a blessing … even if it means being interrupted.

+ In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. +

APOSTOLIC CREED                                

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven

and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body, and the life + everlasting. Amen.


Confident in God’s steadfast love through Jesus Christ, and guided by the Holy Spirit, let us pray for the Church, the world, and all those in need.

God of hope, the ministry of your Church extends across borders, from nearby neighbors to far and distant countries. Accompany all those who eagerly labor in service of the gospel, that through the good news all might experience transformation. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Almighty God, we give you thanks for the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land that provides our food. Guard all species of plants and animals from harsh changes in climate and empower us to protect and care for all that you have made so that future generations may enjoy the blessings and bounty of your creation. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Righteous God, we pray for nations and their leaders. Give them wisdom and a spirit

of compassion; guide them in the ways of peace. Bring an end to violence and unrest, so that all people may live in harmony with one another. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of healing, your touch has the power to make us whole. We pray for the broken-hearted, those who are sick, suffering, poor, outcast, or rejected. Embrace all who are in need this day especially Rusty (under hospice care), Shari (continued cancer therapy), Bert (under doctor’s care for cardiac problems), those suffering from COVID-19, together with those we name in our hearts that they may receive hope, healing, and the mercies rendered by us as God’s people as we pray for them. Be close to the hearts of all who are lonely or homebound, especially Sharon, Richard & Doris, Bonnie, Vernia, Elma, and those we name in our hearts that they may be assured of your loving presence in our compassion, prayers, and care for them. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of love, we pray for this community of faith and all those gathered around Word and Sacrament in worship. Revive our spirits, renew our relationships, and rekindle community. Continue to guide the members of our Call Committee in their discernment process of calling a pastor to serve with us in mission and ministry. Give us patience and keep us mindful that in your time you will provide us with a pastor yet unknown to us but known and loved by you. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of the ages, we give thanks for the faithful who have gone before us with the sign of faith and pointed us toward you. Strengthen us by their example that we may at last be reunited with one another at your feast which knows no end. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We raise our prayers to you, O God, trusting in your never-ending goodness and mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Offerings Are Brought Forward


Heavenly Father, in Christ you have raised us to new life. Receive what

we have to offer, that others might know that life through the gifts you

give us to use and to share in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ, our

Savior and Lord. Amen.


The Lord be with you.

   And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

  We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

  It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Holy God, our Maker, Redeemer, and Healer,

in the harmonious world of your creation

the plants and animals, the seas and stars

were whole and well in your praise.

to be a light to the nations.

When sin had scarred the world, you sent

your Son to heal our ills and to form us

again into one.


In the night in which he was betrayed,

our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;

broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying:

Take and eat; this is my + body which is given

for you. Do this in remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,

And gave it for all to drink, saying:

This cup is the new covenant in my + blood

shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness

of sin. Do this in remembrance of me.

Remembering, therefore, his acts of healing, his body given up,

and his victory over death, we await that day when all the peoples

of the earth will come to the river to enjoy the tree of life.

Send your Spirit upon us and this meal: as grains scattered on the

hillside become one bread, so let your Church be gathered from

the ends of the earth, that all may be fed with the Bread of Life,

your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.

Through him all glory and honor are yours, Almighty Father,

with the Holy Spirit, in your holy Church, both now and

forever. Amen.


Our Father who art in heaven;

hallowed be Thy Name,

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses .

as we forgive those

who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil;

For thine is the kingdom

and the power and the glory

forever and ever. Amen.


The peace of the Lord be with you always. And also with you.


Distribution Music LSB 620Jesus Comes Today with Healing



O God of love, you bind us to yourself in this sacrament, and strengthen us through this meal for service to the world. Guide us by your Spirit that we

may forever give witness to the Name of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Life. We

ask this in his Name. Amen.


SONG Thanks Be to You(Join in singing)

  1. Praise to you, O God of mercy: Thanks be to you forever!

Raising high the weak and lowly: Thanks be to you forever!

  1. From of old you loved and sought us: Thanks be to you forever!

Truth and justice you have taught us: Thanks be to you forever!

Strong is your faithfulness, strong is your love,

Rememb’ring your covenant of love with us.

  1. Praise to you, O God of mercy: Thanks be to you forever!

Raising high the weak and lowly: Thanks be to you forever!

Thanks be to you forever!


Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

             Thanks be to God!       

+ With Great Boldness … Tell Everyone What He Has Done! +

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