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Mission Devotional - September 17, 2016

Opening Prayer: O Lord, our God, the Father from whom all fatherhood derives its name, thank you that you are our Heavenly Father, and that you love us more than we can dream about in our wildest dreams. Thank you.

Scripture: Matthew 9:18-16

Journal: Consider the two fathers in this scene. Consider your own. What does that do within you? Now consider the two daughters. Which one can you most relate to? Why? What is God saying to you through this passage? Where are you in need of healing?

Reflection: The tears of a father are a powerful thing. Unfortunately, the absence of a father is as well. This is a scene of two fathers - well, really three, but we'll get back to that in a few minutes - and two daughters. One father comes to Jesus, pleading for his little girl's life to be restored. He is heartbroken and desperate and hurting, but also believing that even now Jesus can do the impossible. Maybe, as a synagogue ruler, he remembered the story (and the faith) of Abraham, who knew that God could raise his son Isaac back to life again even if he was commanding Abraham to sacrifice him. This father, too, is choosing to believe that which looks impossible. It had been a long and painful road thus far. Who knows how far he had come, who knows how many tears he had cried, and who know how many prayers he had uttered. But no price was too big and no distance too far when it came to his love for his little girl.

The other father is conspicuously absent. Who knows, maybe he died years ago. Or maybe he left her when she was young. Or maybe he had fled the scene twelve years ago when she started to bleed inside and it could not be stopped. The only thing we do know is that, at this point in her life, she is alone. She has no father coming to plead on her behalf. She is on her own.

That is until she reaches out and touches Jesus. Then she is healed. Then she is set free. Then she is made whole. And after he heals her body, he proceeds to heal something much deeper. It is then that he calls her, of all things, daughter. Jesus knew. He knew how much the love of a father, or the lack thereof, could mean. After all, his father had loved him perfectly. And now he does the same for her. And that's where the real healing begins.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Josh and Jenny M. are working with the RAK Church Plant in the United Arab Emirates. The RAK Evangelical Church has now been formally constituted as a church with about 40 members. Construction is underway now for the church building. To find out more, go to the Reclamation Stories blog and watch a video.

The Volunteer Ministry Center (VMC) was established in 1987 and offers specialized services to the homeless and those within our community who are in crisis. VMC's programs support its two-fold mission of facilitating permanent supportive housing for those who are homeless and providing services to prevent homelessness. Pray today for the staff of this ministry as they reach out to the homeless community.

Closing Prayer: Thank you, Lord God, that we are your beloved children. Remind us of that this day. Touch us and heal us in the places where we are most in need of healing and wholeness, so that we might love the world with the same love with which we have been loved. For your glory. Amen.