It was the best of themes, it was the worst of themes.
Last year, as lockdown stretched on amid spiking Covid cases, our stewardship theme was"Enough Already!'
The double meaning included a reminder that we have, and that we are, enough already.
We might have to wait, and we definitely have to share, as we learned from toilet paper, but God's abundance provides plenty for us all.
This spring, the pandemic slowed, in-person worship returned, and the stewardship team had had enough already, so we have a new theme: "See again."
Today's gospel spotlights both.
Mark makes story sandwiches.
He slices one story in half, then puts another story in the middle.
Like a good grilled cheese, one story melts into the other.
Mark pairs them intentionally so that each story flavors the other.
Today he presents A Tale of Two Ladies—one has been alive for twelve years, the other has been sick for the same period of time.
This is no coincidence.
Social scientists Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh explain:
In modern economies, we make the assumption that goods are, in principle, in unlimited supply.
If a shortage exists, we can produce more...
But in ancient Palestine, the perception was the opposite: all goods existed in finite, limited
supply and were already distributed.
This included not only material goods, but also honor, friendship, love, power, security, and
status as well—literally everything in life.
Because the pie could not grow larger, a larger piece for anyone automatically meant a smaller piece for someone else.
The hemorrhaging woman stole Jairus' daughter's health.
When she became well, the little girl died.
Jesus felt the transfer of power and stopped everything to identify the thief.
Then he called her Daughter and affirmed her trust.
For the little girl's family, end of story, the teacher has been troubled enough already.
But Jesus keeps going: Do not fear, only trust.
God's abundance expands the pie.
God's power heals the thief and raises the dead: if you miss that this week, come back on Easter.
There is life enough for more than one daughter.
There is healing enough for the bleeding woman, legally unclean, and the corpse, also unclean, both of whom the teacher touches.
That makes him unclean.
Except look, see again—his touch makes them clean.
The abundance of God's power and grace unveiled in Jesus changes our stories.
There is enough for both Jews and Gentiles, for Israel and for the church.
There is enough for the wounded old guard and for the suffering young.
There is healing grace enough for the conservatives and for the liberals, for the members and the non-members, for the living and for the dead, for desperate thieves and
respectable families, all of whom are invited to rise together and take something to eat.
The life of Christ, given and shed for you.
We share more than enough already.