First Baptist Church of Rahway, 177 Elm Ave., Rahway, New Jersey 07065 is a multi-cultural congregation that has a Blended English Service on Sunday Mornings, a Latino Service at 12:00, and a Service in Telugu at 3:30PM. For more information, call (732) 388-8626. Or click here to send an email. If you wish to help the Mission and Ministry of First Baptist financially click the Donate Button.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Woman Who Wasn’t There


I like to hike and backpack into the wilderness. I especially like to go places where I know that there will be no people around. Disappear for a while if you will. I find it to be a peaceful experience. No people, no worries, no problems. But I also like to return to my family and friends. I don’t like to disappear for too long.

I like to be anonymous when I go places like the mall. I don’t like to be stopped by people and asked questions. Just get in, do my shopping and get out. However, I do make eye contact with people and nod or smile. I believe that it is important to acknowledge people. It’s like saying, hi, I don’t know you but I know you are there. Being alone and anonymous can be a good thing, but it can be too much of a good thing. Most people need to receive some kind of acknowledgement by others.

Some people like to be invisible all of the time. They are around but don’t want to be noticed. There are people in churches who are like that. They come for the service, then bolt out the door at the end and avoid talking to anybody. Since I like to be invisible sometimes I can understand why they do this. But I think that even people who like to be invisible really want to be noticed every so often. They just don’t know how to go about achieving it.

Take for example the story of the woman who was healed when she touched Jesus’ robe – found in Luke 8: 43 – 48. This poor woman was an outcast because of her condition. The law was very clear that she was ‘unclean’ because of her bleeding and therefore to be avoided. I picture her moving through the crowd hoping that no one would recognize her. She also probably wanted to avoid talking with Jesus for fear of being rejected by him. She wanted to be invisible, but she also wanted to be healed. She sneaks up to him and touches his robe. She is miraculously healed right then and there. Then, quietly, she tries to fade back into the crowd. But Jesus doesn’t let her. He calls out to everyone, “who touched me”. He doesn’t want her to be invisible. He wants to speak with her, to look her in the eye, to acknowledge her. And when he does this she walks away whole again.

I believe this story speaks to us of how important we are in God’s eyes. God loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to be invisible. Each and every one of us is important to Him. Some of us feel God’s love strongly, but others are not so sure. Some of us like to be noticed, and others like to be invisible. But in God’s eyes we are all equally important. And even though we feel like escaping once in a while from the world, we can never run from His loving presence.

God bless you,

Pastor Bill

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