Luke 8: 51-56
“51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” 53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.”
Notice how fast the people went from wailing and mourning to laughter. They laughed because they knew the child was dead and they were not open to the possibility that she was not. Even though they wailed and mourned her death, they did not want to listen to anyone who said that she was not dead.
Today, many people wail and mourn the Church. The church they have known lies cold in front of them. They know that it is dead. They do not listen when Jesus enters the door and asks them to stop wailing.
We have forgotten that where Jesus is the Church lives and can never die, no matter how small or empty a building may be. Christ’s Church is in us, dwelling in our hearts. We are the Church when we live in imitation of Christ.
Christ holds our hands, saying “My child, Get up.” And through Jesus, “her spirit returned to her”.
May the love of Christ be with you,
Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)