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"Daughters" Sixth Sunday After Pentecost - June 23, 2024

I’m going to ask y'all to keep the gospel reading close by. We’re going to look at something in a moment. 

Last weekend I officiated a wedding down in the Hill Country.

Peyton and Elena Francis were confirmed here in May and married last weekend. 

Beautiful time. 

I like doing weddings. I’ve had the opportunity to do many through the years. 

I enjoy the pre-marital counseling, I enjoy the ceremony, I enjoy the reception. 

Well….I should say I enjoy the reception if Ericka is with me. If my wife isn’t with me, my introversion kicks-in and I tend to not go. Also, I’ve spent too many times at a reception by myself where inevitably a groomsman corners me to talk about relationship woes or tell me the reasons he doesn’t believe in organized religion. Or…a bridesmaid after her fourth shot of tequila says to me something along the lines of…”I am…just….such a huge fan of God.” 

But if Ericka’s there…it’s like a date, great meal, 9 times out of 10 they seat us next to the grandparents, and that’s who I’d rather be talking to anyway. So…it’s fun. 

I’ve noticed something though about myself as far as the ceremony is concerned. For a long time, I always paid a lot of attention to that moment when the groom first lay eyes on the bride…You know the music ques, the doors open, and she starts walking down the aisle – and I always loved just watching the groom’s reaction. Not any more though. 

Now, I find myself paying close attention to something else.

The father of the bride. Because…I have a daughter. 

You see the groom’s face is filled with this anticipatory delight…overwhelmed by beauty…

the face of a life just beginning. The father’s – the face of a man who can’t make life slow down. In his eyes I see the transience of all things – this inescapable quality of existence that shows us the only way to get through this dear life of ours is to let go of all that we’ve held on to for dear life. And although that is the source of our deepest pain, it is also the source of our deepest pleasure. From the same well we draw laughter and tears, joy and sorrow, courage and fear, darkness and light. 

So, these days I watch the fathers’ face – as they walk their daughters down the aisles. 

This morning…our gospel reading has fathers and daughters. Some we see and hear from…others we don’t, but they’re there… 

Jairus was a father…he was also an important member of this Jewish community’s ruling class. A prominent member of the synagogue. To achieve that level of prominence you had to display a certain level of personal piety, manage your home effectively, possess a certain level of wealth. And it is this man…this man of piety, of position, of privilege – the man many looked to for guidance, direction, leadership…this man is now on his knees begging Jesus to heal his daughter. Jesus agrees and begins to follow Jairus back to his home, where a big supportive family and household of friends keep watch over this sick little girl.