In Faith Moments, Odalis Turincio shares her thoughts on living out her faith and how we can grow closer to God. Take a moment to join other members of our community every other Thursday at 8:30a
Hi, good morning. Welcome to Faith Moments. My name is Odalis. I’m a part of the staff at CornerstoneSF. I’m so glad that we have this time to share, just these few minutes together this Thursday morning, kind of on the other side of the middle of the week. To just sit and think about faith and to do so together. I’m glad you’re here. Feel free to pop in those comments as we go. Let me know what you’re thinking. If no questions come up we can walk through this together and have a conversation.
I’m going to do my best to keep an eye on these comments, and we’ll just do our best to stay connected digitally from screen to screen, so to speak. We’ll spend just a few moments today talking about something that stuck out to me from the Gospel of Mark. If you hear a little bit of banging, the garbage trucks are going by, so just try to disregard them. They’re doing very wonderful work. If you have a Bible nearby, grab it so we can read through these scriptures together. We’ll be in the Gospel of Mark chapter five. I’d love to pray before we get started.
Father, I thank you for this morning. I thank you for everyone who has joined in so far and for everyone who’s on their way. Lord, I thank you for everyone who’s going to be watching this after it’s live. Lord, would you meet us, all of us here, you the God of time and space, you for whom a digital world that is so connected, even that connectivity is nothing compared to how you see and are in control over all things. Father, would you be among us at this time, speak to our hearts and help us to just be attentive and have ears to hear what you’re saying to each of us individually? We thank you for this time and we pray these things, Jesus, in your name. Amen.
I’ve shared this before, but my mornings just about always start with a cup of coffee and some time with the Bible. This time is super important for me. I’m always reminded of the scripture; out of the heart, the mouth speaks. This idea that whatever we fill our internal cups with is kind of the baseline for where our day, our thoughts, the things that come out of her mouth. That’s where that comes from, kind of our internal states, why our self-talk matters. For me, I love to be and I think this is hopefully similar for a lot of us. We want to be filled with God. We want to hear more of Him. For me, how I start is just with some scripture every day. As I was reading the word and also being read by it, which is part of what’s so powerful about the scriptures. I was really struck in a new way by a passage, which is familiar. That’s also just this power that’s in the scriptures that we can read them over and over and over and over again. I was talking to somebody earlier this week who’s been following the Lord for so much longer than I have. She’s a wealth of wisdom and love of the Lord. Even for her, she was just marveling at how we can continually learn new things in these passages that are really familiar.
Something new struck out in a familiar passage from Mark 5. I just want us to sit with it together. We’ll see what the Lord is sharing with some of you as well. From Mark five, we pick up around verse 21. What’s going on is Jesus has been doing a bunch of ministering. His name is starting to spread. A synagogue leader named Jairus finds Jesus. His daughter is dying. He asks Jesus to come and heal her. Jesus goes with him, a crowd follows. At the same time, there is this woman that the scriptures describe as having an issue with bleeding. For 20 years, she’s had this issue of bleeding. She has seen countless doctors. She has spent all that she has and the scripture says she suffered so much because of all of the things she did to try to solve her issue of blood. It only grew worse.
We’ll pick up here at verse 27. Mark 5:27. “When she,” that is the woman with the issue of blood, “heard about Jesus, she came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His cloak. She thought, ‘If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed. Immediately her bleeding stopped. She felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.” This is monumental. It’s something that the scriptures describe how Jesus was on Earth and it’s astonishing Jesus being Jesus. He knows what just happened and He asks the crowd who touched Him.
The disciples are kind of appalled. They’re thinking, “Well, there’s a crowd.” If you’ve ever been in a crowd, I think you can imagine. When you’re bumping up against other people, you don’t know who’s around, who’s making contact with all of that. The disciples say, “What do you mean who touched you? Tons of people are touching you. Can you be more specific?” Jesus knows precisely what happened where His power affected this woman and healed her. He asked, “Who touched me?”
We’ll pick up in verse 33. “Then the woman knowing what had happened to her came and fell at His feet trembling with fear and told Him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Faith Moments, something like this is killer. It’s astonishing to think of how Jesus showed up in people’s faith, just met them exactly where they were. This woman’s faith is astonishing. She’s in such a desperate place. She had tried everything that human knowledge and wisdom could think of because she couldn’t get healed. She came and heard of Jesus. She, out of desperation she finds herself in that kind of desperate place of faith. She just goes for what feels outside of human wisdom to touch a cloak would make a physical impact, but it did.
Jesus, as He says, her faith healed her. I want to have faith like that. A faith that is just desperate and trusting Jesus. I want to have it in more than just the desperate times to foster a kind of faith that is trusting and expectant of Jesus at all times. What happens next is really what stood out to me about this passage. So let’s keep reading. Let’s go to verse 35. “While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader.” Remember, he’s the one with whom this story starts. Again, we’re in Mark, not Matthew. That’s my mistake.
He’s the one that our story started with, the synagogue leader. “And so some people came from His house and told Him, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher anymore?’ Jesus, overhearing what they said, told Him, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just believe.'” What happens next is Jesus goes to this house, there’s some commotion with the people who are there. They don’t believe who He says He is, at the end of the day. He goes into that house and tells this girl to get up and she gets up. She’s alive again. She was dead. I love the fact that He tells them to give her something to eat.
Jesus doesn’t meet just our spiritual needs, there are practical ones too. Back to Jairus. Jesus tells Him, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” There’s so much here and I definitely have so, so, so much left to learn about what the scriptures have to teach us in moments like these. I just have two small things that spoke to me. Two small things that I’m starting to sit with that I’m hoping to understand over time. I hope that for you as you sit with these thoughts that maybe the Lord speaks to you through them as well. First is this truth that we know that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.
In that cultural context, specifically blood and death, contact with these things would make you sort of ceremonially unclean or impure by the fact that they would separate you from the community and religious practice. Within the temple system, there were a lot of these specific rules. Jesus actually came to fulfill those rules. That’s a whole separate thing and I have not studied that so I won’t go there. But contact with death and blood specifically would separate people from their community. Jesus sees these things and He doesn’t shy away from them.
For the woman, 20 years of an issue of blood was 20 years of separation from her community. 20 years of subpar experience, both in her spiritual practice and in her community life. We’ve been separated from each other for I think about 100 days now. That is so much. Imagine 20 years. For the little girl obviously, death is an incredible separation, but Jesus doesn’t separate from those people. He comes into contact with us. For us, it doesn’t matter where we are, what our stories are, the positions we do or don’t hold. Whether we know what we’re doing or we’re still trying to figure it out. Whether we feel ready or not, it doesn’t matter the areas that hold us back.
I don’t know the areas that hold you back. I’m starting to learn the ones that hold me back, but those things don’t hold Jesus back from coming into contact with us and moving in our lives. He can, He will, He does meet us where we are. That was a really beautiful space there for me to sit and be reminded of that in the Lord. The second question that I sort of felt asked of myself, is the phrase “Don’t be afraid, only believe.”
My own question to myself and for us to consider is, “Well, what do you need to hear if we structure the phrase, don’t be blank insert here, just believe?” I tried to think of some things that maybe we would fill in here. If you’re comfortable, maybe you can drop in the comments some things you need to hear from Jesus. Don’t be ashamed, just believe. Don’t be angry, just believe. Don’t be confused, don’t be proud, don’t be distracted or a perfectionist, just believe. Don’t get walled off, don’t separate yourself, just believe. Don’t feel lost, don’t feel abandoned, just believe.
What do you need to hear? See, our challenge as humans on a very imperfect journey is to believe God, believe what He says, yes, but also believe in Him. Believe Him for who He says He is through this self-revealing precious Word that He gives us. This is part of how we do it. Part of how I’m learning to do it is to sit and say, “What do I need to hear from the Lord and can I listen?” I’ve heard Pastor Terry say it this way. As much as we can, let’s learn to doubt our doubts and believe our beliefs. To doubt our doubts and believe our beliefs.
I’d love to pray with us on this. If there are things that come to mind for you that you’re hearing, maybe the Lord whispering over you, don’t be “insert your adjective”, just believe. Be sure to reach out to our pastoral team to pray together, to seek out God together in those spaces, and to ask the Lord to help us to believe where we have areas where it’s hard to believe, we’re afraid.
Let’s pray together and I’ve been super grateful for this time. Father, I thank you for this space and for my friends who are here across the screen. Lord, we bring to you that word that should fill in that blank. Don’t be blank, just believe. Lord, we want to believe in you in these moments that we share together with you on our own, we want to believe. God, we want to believe you for who you say you are. Help us with whatever that blank is. Would you help us to hear you, to really have ears to hear you, eyes to see you, and a heart to trust you so that we would believe?
Our fears are real. They don’t just disappear when we declare we want to believe in you, but we trust you. We know that you will be the one who fills those needs, Jesus. We thank you for this time. I ask for your blessing over everyone who is here and seeking you out. Lord, would you meet them precisely where they are? We pray these things, Jesus, in your name. Amen.
It’s been so good to spend this time with you. I had a song that came to mind just as I was reading. I always think of the song. When looking at the story with the issue of blood. It’s called More by Red Rocks Worship. A lot of the lyrics are this profound image of trust in His healing. So if you want to sit and listen for me, sometimes songs will sink in a little deeper than words and conversation will. I encourage you to check it out.
God bless each of you. It’s been so good to spend this time together. I’m so glad you joined in. May the Lord meet you in those places, that blank moment there. Let’s just do our best to pursue Him. God bless you. We’ll see you next time for Faith Moments.