The First 15

Saturday January 9, 2021

by Mike Ramsdell

Opening Prayer

As I enter into this time of prayer and reflection, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to recenter my scattered senses upon the presence of God.

Holy God, there are many voices I hear every day that can often be overwhelming. In this moment, this First 15, I choose to hear your voice. Speak to me God, I am listening.

Scripture Reading

Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned to her, “Take heart, daughter, “he said, “your faith has healed you”. And the woman was healed at that moment.

Matthew 9:20-22


I was in Zimbabwe where our church had sent a team to work with the medical and hunger needs of children at an orphanage. It was difficult to see children in such hopeless conditions; many had AIDS and would not grow to adulthood. We would end each day sitting by a brick fireplace, in the dark (no lights) in an old English style lodge. After one very difficult day, I tried to comfort our team. I used all my pastoral skills to no avail. Then Joyce, a Zimbabwean who was with us began to sing.

In her rich African intonation, She sang,

Reach out and touch the Lord as He goes by,

You will find He is not too busy, to answer your cry,

He is passing by this moment, your need to supply,

Reach out and touch the Lord, as He goes by.

Just like the woman reached out to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, so did we.

Many times, that is all we have. Like the woman in the story, we can be powerless, helpless, and hopeless. It is often the human condition. And then, Jesus walks by. This morning as you look at where you are in your life, know you can reach out to Jesus. Take heart!

Closing Prayer

When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer.

Lord, sometimes I feel powerless, helpless, and hopeless. I only have the strength to reach out to you, to reach up and touch the hem of your garment. This morning that is what I do, I place my faith in you, Jesus.

The First 15

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