This Sunday The Rev. Dr. Mike Magee will be preaching on the story in the Bible about the hemorrhaging woman who interrupts – and is healed by – Jesus.  He will bring a very unique perspective as an ordained Presbyterian minister who is also an oncologist who specializes in blood issues  to the story of the woman who interrupts Jesus as he is on his way to a very important meeting.  

Our modern day life can be full of interruptions.  The unexpected phone call comes when our hands are full with kids and groceries. The never ending e-mails announce their presence and overwhelm our inbox. But nothing interrupts one’s life more than illness.  The impact of illness: it can isolate and it can overwhelm.  I am confident Mike will bring an inspirational word about how Jesus provided balm then and how we as the church provide balm today in his sermon:  “Compassion Attracts Company.” 

Balm. That is a fitting and needed word for our country in the aftermath of last week’s tragic shooting in the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.   Balm:  in the form of prayer; in the form of connecting with one another; in the form of talking and doing and not staying silent.  We prepare this communication as Charlestonians gather today for the first of nine funerals as they gather to celebrate the life of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney.  Lives have been interrupted.  Sharing with many of you last week, you spoke how the magnitude of the church shooting had interrupted your complacency.  Today, our prayers of balm are with the families of the nine church members who were killed. And tomorrow, through our conversation and action with others provide the balm of God’s kingdom as we address the illness of racism - that can overwhelm and isolates - remains a part of this great nation’s underbelly.  If Mike is right in his sermon title that “Compassion Attracts Company” may the EBPC community model to others through our conversation and actions what is needed to move forward in peace.

Here is last Sunday’s sermon (“Boat People”) in which I spoke about separating out faith and fear in light of the tragic event in Charleston.  Peace.