Amy Jones,
Agape Coordinator
Dear God, we come to worship you today. 
We come to pray, and listen.
You always hear us. 
Help us to hear you. Amen
Mark 5:24b-34

And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. 26She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 27She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” 29Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32He looked all around to see who had done it. 33But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
I was driving home on 22 West one morning after a meeting. In my haste to get to the meeting on time, I had forgotten to grab other things I needed, so I was forced to go home to retrieve them. I was a little harried, having almost been late to one meeting and now unprepared for the rest of the day. To top it all off it was raining and I was headed in the opposite direction of my final destination. 

Then I had a slow-motion moment as I watched an enormous tree in the Watchung Reservation crack and fall across the highway. It was that kind of slow-motion moment when you know exactly what you need to do and somehow calmly manage to do it. I slowly signaled a move across the highway to avoid the falling tree and pulled over on the shoulder behind a fellow motorist. The gentleman in the other car jumped out and was pulling at his own hair and almost laughing. I asked if he was okay. His car looked just fine and I wasn’t quite sure why he would get out. He laughed and jumped and danced a little and said “Yes! I’m fine. We almost died just now! We almost died! But we didn’t!” 

I agreed with him and told him I hoped the rest of his day was just as lucky. Then I called 911 to let them know about the downed tree and the need for crews to clear away the mess to allow cars to get by. The day no longer seemed inconvenient. The man’s joy at our having survived was contagious! 

The story of the hemorrhaging woman interrupts the story of Jairus who accosts Jesus as he disembarks a boat, pleading with Jesus to save the life of his dying daughter. Jairus interrupts Jesus’s travel to his hometown, where he was going to teach in the synagogue. I wonder if Jesus was annoyed at this series of disruptions in his day? He was on his way to something important, and first Jairus, and then this woman, slow everything down.

At the conclusion of the story, not only had the hemorrhaging woman been cured simply by brushing the hem of Jesus’s garment, but Jairus’s daughter has been raised from the dead and “At this, they were overcome with amazement” (Mark 5:42). The contagious joy of living to see another day!

Some days are full of interruptions and inconveniences in our busy and important lives, and these can be frustrating and annoying. But we can never let the importance of our business get in the way of the business of living. Sometimes the interruptions are the important stuff. Jesus was on his way to teach, but his response to the delays in his journey was the lesson.

We have important work to do as individuals, as a community of faith, as a state, and as a nation, and there absolutely will be interruptions on the way to our goals. Some interruptions will be distractions and temptations, but sometimes the interruptions will be the reason for the journey.
O Wise One, they say the journey is just as important as the destination, but sometimes we get lost in the forest and cannot find the trees. Bubble up joy from deep within us for interruptions that make the journey worth the while. Amen 
Amy Jones
Amy Jones, Agape Coordinator
Amy Jones our Agape Coordinator is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church. In this tradition, deacons are ordained clergy who bridge the ministry of the church with the needs of the world, and vice versa. In more than 15 years of ministry, she has worked in churches, in children and family ministry, higher education, and nonprofits. In each setting, her focus has been on matching the resources of the church with the needs of the world. Agape Community Kitchen is exactly the type of work she was called to do. 

Amy can be reached by email at:
The Presbyterian Church in Westfield continues to burn as a light in the darkness as our community weathers this fearsome storm of illness. Our reach of care continues to extend far beyond our immediate borders. You can help us make a real impact in the lives of others by joining in our work through your time, your talents, and also in the fruits of your labors.
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