“No, no, no…let me get that for you!”
I like to think of myself as a helpful neighbor, friend, father and husband. I do things for others…sometimes without them even asking. I cut them off and tell them what I think they want to hear without them even getting a chance to ask for what they really want or need.
I mean, I’m pretty awesome, eh?
As a pastor, I believe I am in a “helping profession.” It’s a good day when I feel like someone benefitted from the support of the church – and I love being that guy to represent said religious institution.
The problem I’m seeing lately?
The church tries to answer questions that aren’t asked.
The church tries to solve the wrong problems.
The church interrupts and gets in the way of the real conversations people want/need/hope to have.
And when I say the church, I’m mostly pointing at the pastor who is writing this little missive.
The sermon yesterday was based on the second half of Mark 5, which recounts two miraculous events – Jesus healing a woman who touches his cloak and then raising Jabirus’s twelve year old daughter from the dead. There’s a ton of stuff in these two stories but what jumped out at me this time around were the followers of Jesus who, in both circumstances, seem determined to bring different endings to the incidents. They doubt, they interrupt, the laugh, and they mock those who believe in Jesus’ power to heal, Jesus’ words, and Jesus himself. And they do it from a place of assumed faith and reason.
Do we doubt the belief of others?
Do we assume an outcome before it ever has a chance to go another direction? I do and I wish I didn’t.
Like many other Christians, there a times when I reject the testimonies and utterances of another denomination, congregation, or community based on my assumptions about correct church behavior, theology, and thought. Why do we do that?
Jesus counters the doubts of his closest followers but showing them (again) there is a better way. Similarly, I want to believe Jesus takes my mistaken ramblings, doubts, and cynicism and turns it into something way more valuable and important.
My doubt shouldn’t get in the way of another’s belief. So why do I let it do that?
Mark 5:36 – But overhearing what they were saying, Jesus said to the synagogue leader, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”