My family believes me to have very poor taste when it comes to TV. I prefer to think of myself as having rather eclectic preferences. I am rather fond of a series with a good story line is absolutely compelling for me. I do admit to being quite drawn to science fiction and fantasy.
Some years ago, we were told by the folks in Chicago, that our missionary position in Thailand was going to be defunded about a year ahead of its end, and this of course was disconcerting. I was invited back to Chicago to explore other opportunities, and during the time that I was there, I was alone one night in the hotel right next door to the church office. I was watching TV very late, my internal clock being totally upside down with jet lag, and particularly enjoying the Sci-Fi channel, when a program came on with which I was entranced. It was called Firefly. It was kind of like a western, set in space. But then I had to go back to Bangkok, and I had no idea how the series would end up. I remember being terribly frustrated because I had no idea if I would ever find it again. Indeed, I had quite forgotten about it altogether when, several years later, I serendipitously happened upon it.
There are moments in life, when circumstances force us to be patient and wait for an outcome. In Mark’s gospel, this weekend’s gospel lesson has been called the “Markan Sandwich.” In it, the author sandwich’s one story in the middle of another, and makes us wait to hear how the first story concludes. Jairus’ request that his daughter be healed, was put on the back burner for time, until Jesus dealt with the woman, who in the midst of a crowded marketplace, touched the hem of his robe. Jairus had to be patient. So do we.
This week, we explored the relationship of these two disparate stories, and their meaning for us today.