June 2024


In Sorrow and in Rejoicing

Open Your Heart

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

As we enter this three-week stretch focusing on Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth, we also focus on what I think is one of the key questions of Ordinary Time; namely, how do we live our faith day after day after day?

Mark 5:24b-34 (NIRV)

A large group of people followed. They crowded around him. 25A woman was there who had a sickness that made her bleed. It had lasted for 12 years. 26She had suffered a great deal, even though she had gone to many doctors. She had spent all the money she had. But she was getting worse, not better. 27Then she heard about Jesus. She came up behind him in the crowd and touched his clothes. 28She thought, “I just need to touch his clothes. Then I will be healed.” 29Right away her bleeding stopped. She felt in her body that her suffering was over.

30At once Jesus knew that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd. He asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31“You see the people,” his disciples answered. “They are crowding against you. And you still ask, ‘Who touched me?’”

32But Jesus kept looking around. He wanted to see who had touched him. 33Then the woman came and fell at his feet. She knew what had happened to her. She was shaking with fear. But she told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, “Dear woman, your faith has healed you. Go in peace. You are free from your suffering.”

Object: Finished cake that is nicely decorated.

Message: I have a finished birthday cake. Isn’t it beautiful? It looks yummy, doesn’t it? Don’t you want to dig in? Who needs a spoon or fork? Or should we slice it so that everyone can have a piece?

Slicing a cake is sometimes difficult because we use a large sharp knife. At our party, sometimes it is best to ask a grownup for help, especially when using a knife.

Is it hard to ask for help? What are some things that you need to ask for help? (Let children provide answers.) Do you sometimes need to ask for help to tie a shoe? Or to reach something in the cabinet that is too high for you to reach? Sometimes people are ashamed to ask for help. They are embarrassed to ask for help. Would you be embarrassed to ask for help slicing this cake?

Just as when we see a beautiful cake when we are really hungry and just want to dive in to eat it, the woman in today’s Scripture was even more desperate than that. She was so desperate for help that she was no longer embarrassed to try anything. She was desperate for healing, and she believed that Jesus could provide healing. Just like a cake could make us feel full if we were hungry, so she trusted that Jesus could make her better. First, she had to recognize that she needed help from someone else. Do you know who helped her? (Allow children to exclaim.)

Jesus felt the woman’s touch, and he told her that her faith had made her well. She was healed! Jesus saw her faith and courage, and he helped her!

It’s okay to ask someone for help. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed when you can’t do something for yourself. Faith in God means we need the help of Jesus in all things. Don’t be embarrassed to ask Jesus for help.

Prayer: Help me, Jesus. Help me ask for help when I seem too small. Help me ask for help when I am too embarrassed. Help me ask for your help always. Amen.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

In This Series...

Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Trinity Sunday, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes