Face to Face

Belief Beyond Barriers

Scripture reference: Mark 5:25-34

“Just a touch of his robe”

When I was a little girl, the Queen of England came to visit the people of Canada. She travelled from place to place, from city to city in this big land. One day the news came that the Queen planned to visit a beautiful park not far from where my family lived. What a marvellous chance to see her! So off we went, my sisters and I, to catch a glimpse of the Queen of England!  There were so many people in the park, crowding close together, all hoping  to come a little closer to the place where the Queen was going to be. At last, there she was, but so far away!!! She was sitting on a platform higher than our heads, surrounded by important people, all dressed up! A thick rope fence was stretched around the platform where she sat, so that no none could come near. Special guards said over and over: “Please stay back… please stay back…” The Queen was so far away, and so small, I could barely see her smile.

When Jesus was doing his Father’s work on earth, he walked with his helpers from place to place, from city to city in the land of Palestine. And many time, large crowds of people followed. “Jesus is coming to our village! Come… let’s go and listen to him! Hurry!” the people would say to one another. And they’d pack a lunch – if they remembered – and hurry to follow Jesus. The healthy people went to listen, and the sick people went mostly because they knew that Jesus could make them well.

On one of those days, there was a particular woman in the crowd. She was by herself,  just like always; most of her neighbors wouldn’t even visit her because of her sickness. For twelve years the doctors had tried to cure her, but not one could help. BUT… here was this Jesus, and hadn’t he cured the man with the evil spirit? She’d ask Jesus to heal her too!!

Oh dear, what a crowd! Everybody wanted to be first – pushing and shoving …! She’d never be able to talk to Jesus in this mob. But… Jesus could make her well: she was SURE of it! … What if she could come just a little closer, and touch his clothes. That would be enough. Yes…., she would just touch him!

Through the crowd she squirmed… and squeezed… and pushed. There he was! She stretched out her thin arm and touched Jesus’ dusty robe. In that instant she knew that her sickness was gone!

Jesus knew it, too, in that same instant. He stopped. He turned. “Who touched my clothes?” he asked. What a question, thought the disciples. Everybody was touching him, pushing and shoving and calling his name. It could be anyone… But Jesus knew it was someone special.

And the woman knelt at Jesus’ feet and said, “I touched your robe because I believed that you could make me better.” And Jesus said to her, “Because you believed, your sickness is gone. Go home, and be happy and well…”

Maybe we can’t reach out and grab Jesus’ robe to get his attention, but when we really believe, we can reach him with our prayers and that puts us right in front of him, face to face

Listen to the gospel version of ” Touch the Hem of His garment” by Sam Cooke & the Gospel Stirrers.

Letting Go

You Lack One Thing

Scripture reference: Mark 10:13-31

[You will need to have available a set of child’s “water wings”]
Jesus responds to the rich young ruler. Illustration: The Bowker Bible.Mortier

Can you tell me what I have in my hand? [Water wings]

What are they for?

When your mom or dad think you’re ready to learn to swim, off you go, maybe to the beach or to a big swimming pool. You wriggle into your swimsuit, and if you have water wings, you slip them on next—and then—a big person shows you how to do all kinds of things that help you get ready for real swimming: blowing bubbles, ducking your head under the water and counting your teacher’s fingers, floating, pretending you’re a jellyfish or a frog, and kicking your legs…

And, for a while, your water wings are so important—so is holding on to your teacher’s hand. Soon, you can do so many things in the water—PERHAPS!—you’re ready to swim!!

But—you won’t know for sure that you’re really ready until you take off your water wings and let go of your teacher’s hand and dive in! You just have to let go!


A rich young man came to see Jesus. He thought he was ready to follow Jesus. He was sure he was ready to follow him. “Teacher,” he said, “I’ve done everything I need to do! I’ve been a good person since I was a boy; I never say bad words, I love my neighbours; I don’t steal; I love my mom and my dad; I never cheat; and I’ve never killed anybody. Now, how do I get into heaven?”

Jesus looked at the young man, and he looked right into his heart. “Are you really ready?” he asked. “Good, sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

The young man looked at Jesus. What? – Give away his money, the most important thing he owned? SELL EVERYTHING? Oh, no! He needed his money; he couldn’t let go of his riches – not yet!! He wasn’t really ready to let go, after all. And so he went away sadly and did not follow Jesus.

Note: in the context of the times, the young ruler had, in fact, done everything that was required of him  (by Sanhedrin law) to enter heaven and achieve eternal life. He felt, somehow, that it wasn’t enough, and felt the need to take another step – but even after Jesus spoke to him, could not release the most important thing in his life. (In his case, it was wealth) to let go completely and follow Jesus. Even the disciples who, too, had been brought up in that culture and tradition were amazed that this good man who had done it all since he was a boy, had not yet “qualified” for eternal reward.

Watch International Media Ministries’ mini-video of  ” The Rich Young Ruler.”

And… a 3.5 minute modern-day look at what could have happened after the rich young ruler left Jesus’ presence.

Choosing God’s workers in his church

Choosing God’s workers in his church   

(Commissioning leadership)

Scripture reference: Acts 4:13

Child holding bean seeds, GENERATED BY AI

In this hand I have some bean seeds. And here is a bean plant. Between the seeds and this plant quite a few things had to happen. The seeds were ready, waiting for sun and rain and good warm earth. But, first, they needed a gardener, someone to plant the seed in the warm earth, someone to see that the seed had enough of everything it needed to grow and become a healthy plant—and produce good food.

When Jesus lived on earth, he chose disciples to help him look after the beginning church—small and new, like these bean seeds. These disciples became gardeners in God’s garden of new Christians. Jesus chose them from the everyday people in the neighbourhood: ordinary fishermen like Peter and Andrew, James and John; Matthew the tax collector, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, James, Thaddeus, Simon and Judas. These ordinary men followed Jesus, and he taught them how to take care of the church and help it grow. They went with him everywhere, learning from Him and loving Him.

And those ordinary men who loved Jesus went from village to village, telling the people about Jesus. And with Jesus’ power, they made many sick people well again. And so God’s garden grew.

After Jesus went to heaven, the disciples, God’s gardeners, went on with the wonderful work. The Holy Spirit made them brave and helped them, even when the Roman high priest put Peter and John in jail for talking about Jesus’ resurrection and for making a crippled man walk again in Jesus’ name.

More and more people heard about Jesus and joined God’s garden of believers. After a while there were so many new Christians that seven more men were chosen to help look after the church—men who loved Jesus and were filled with His Spirit.

Our church still does that. We have God’s gardeners in our church, who look after it and work to keep our church healthy and growing. We call them elders and deacons. And today the elders and deacons we chose last week were added to God’s other gardeners who are already busy at work in our church.