Monday after Septuagesima
Scripture: St. Mark 5:21-43 (NKJV)
5:21 Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea. 22 And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23 and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” 24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.
25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” 29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.
30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”
31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?'”
32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
35 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”
36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”
37 And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. 38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39 When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” 40 And they ridiculed Him.
But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. 41 Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement. 43 But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat.
Introductory note on devotions for the week of Septuagesima:
Early in the year 1535, Peter Beskendorf, a barber and an old friend of Martin Luther’s, asked Dr. Luther for suggestions concerning prayer. Luther responded with an open letter titled, “A Simple Way to Pray (for Master Peter the Barber).”
Within this open letter Luther suggests how he attempts to better understand God’s Word in order to better pray to God. With regards to God’s Ten Commandments, Luther extends his suggested method of a four-fold division, namely, a School Text (which asks: What am I being taught about God?); a Song Book (which asks: For what should I give God thanks?); a Penitential Book (which asks: What sins are uncovered that I should confess?); and a Prayer Book (which asks: For what does this text teach me to pray?).
While the Scriptures are only properly interpreted according to their own consistent testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ, this four-fold method provides us a way to apply and contemplate them in our personal devotions and prayers. The examples supplied within these devotions are just that—examples. Individuals meditating upon God’s Word may very well come up with more understandings for each four-fold area (being rightfully understood according God’s Law and Gospel). May such a suggested method be a blessing.
Meditation on a text of Holy Scripture according to Luther’s four-fold aspect, namely as a:
School Text (What am I being taught about God?):
The only place of refuge and relief from any affliction rests with the Lord, Christ Jesus. Both women display an uncleanness with which Christ (being holy) should never have had any contact. There is no condemnation, however, to those who are in Christ (who believe)—and, in His timing, God glorifies His own name.
Song Book (For what should I give God thanks?):
For not leaving me in my uncleanness. For God coming to me in His Word and Sacraments promising what Christ has merited for me: forgiveness, life and salvation. For opening my lips to confess Christ and His merits, and for imputing to such a confession of faith Christ’s righteousness so that I am declared by God to be without blemish.
Penitential Book (What sins are uncovered that I should confess?):
Not meditating on God’s 10 Commandments, which would reveal how truly afflicted I am. Not taking all of my troubles to the Lord. Believing in my own power to resolve them; or that they will just go away in due time; or that I am not afflicted at all. Being impatient with God’s timing.
Prayer Book (For what does this text teach me to pray?):
For mercy. For patience. For guidance. For right understanding.
Collect for the Week:
O LORD, we beseech You favorably to hear the prayers of Your people that we, who are justly punished for our offenses, may be mercifully delivered by Your goodness, for the glory Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.