May 11, 2014: Angry at God

Posted on : May 8th, 2014 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

A few months ago I was having a conversation with a friend of mine. He was venting a little about a mutual friend of ours who is at times very difficult to get along with. As we were reflecting on some of our more recent “difficult times” with this person, he blurted out, “She’s angry at the God she doesn’t even believe in!”

As soon as my friend said those words, I said to myself, “Oh my God, those words are so true – not only for her, but for all of us.” How many of us are angry at the God we don’t even believe in?”

How many of us have been hurt by the God that “the Church” or “religion” has taught us to believe in? Later in life we may discover that that God isn’t at all the God we believe in, or worse yet, we just lose all faith and say I don’t believe in any God.

The scripture this Sunday is a wonderful example of how and why we need to bury bad beliefs about God.   Amazingly, this story is found in Matthew, Mark and Luke’s gospels. When that happens it meant the story was of great importance and was told from generation to generation within the communities that formed the early Christian Church. Now, what makes this amazing is that the story is about an unnamed woman who is bold and gutsy. This woman has been ill for 12 years. She was regularly bleeding or hemorrhaging. Her experience with “doctors” and “healers” was not good. In a quote that sounds like something right out of our experiences, the story says this: “She has suffered much under many physicians and had spent all that she had, and was not better but rather grew worse.” Not very encouraging! But, the story continues,

She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well.” And immediately her hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.

Now, that would be great, except there is one glaring problem here. Menstruating or “bleeding” women were forbidden by religious custom/law to touch men. They were considered “unclean.” (Lev. 15:25). Furthermore, no women were allowed to touch Rabbis.

This woman knew in her heart of hearts that what she had been taught was wrong. She knew it was unfair, unjust, and untrue. And she was bold enough to let go of what she had been taught in order to seek the healing she needed.

What was Jesus’ response? “My daughter, your faith was the source of your healing.” [Not me.] “Be free, and go in peace.”

William Nirote, one of our UCC authors and author of “Bless This Home” recounts these stories:

In “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade,” near the end of the film (spoiler alert) he has the holy grail in his hand. As he leaves the cave where the knight protected the cup for centuries, there was an earthquake and Indiana dived for the cup. There was the poignant moment when Indiana Jones must decide to either hold on to the cup falling into an abyss, or take the helping hand of salvation offered by his father. To take his father’s hand, Indiana must let go of the cup. Indiana Jones’ father says, “Indiana . . . let it go.”

There are things in our lives we must let go of to survive. There are those who even tell us, “Let it go.” They might even offer us a helping hand.

The Disney film “Frozen” has been a smashing success, setting all-time sales records for an animated film. Every girl and boy knows the film’s featured song, “Let It Go.” Another spoiler alert. “Frozen” tells the story of a loving bond between two sisters, Anna and Elsa. Elsa’s gift was turning her environment into a frozen setting. Only when Elsa lets her gift “go” was she reunited in a loving bond with her sister and her world.

So it is with our spiritual life. First we “Let it go,” going from destruction and death, to life. In our spiritual life we also “Let it go” when we set free the gifts of the Spirit given to us as gifts from God.

This Easter season, may we let go of whatever bad beliefs we have been taught or may hold about God, ourselves, or others.

Easter Blessings to you,


~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

Mark 5: 25-34

A woman who is in need of healing reaches out and touches Jesus’ garment.

There was a woman in the crowd around Jesus who had suffered from a flow of blood for twelve years. Various doctors were unable to cure her. After long and painful treatment, she had spent all her money and was not any better. In fact, she was getting worse.

“If I but touch Jesus’ clothes,” she told herself, “I will be well again.”

She came up behind Jesus, reached out, and touched the tassel on his garment, and she was instantly cured.

“Who touched me?” Jesus shouted.

“The crowd is pressing upon you,” said Peter. “What do you mean, ‘Who touched me?’”

But Jesus searched the crowd, insisting, “I felt power go out from me. I want to know who touched me.”

Trembling, the woman came forward and threw herself at Jesus feet.

Jesus said, “My daughter, your faith was the source of your healing. Be free, and go in peace.”

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