Summary: NEW YEARS DAY, YEAR A - Sermon on Healing
A young clergyman new to the ministry went to make his first pastoral visit to an elderly woman who was ill in the hospital. This woman had be laid up in bed for years and her health had suddenly taken a turn for the worst. After he had visited with her for a while he asked if she would like a prayer before he left “Yes,” she said, “and pastor would you pray for God to heal me. I want to walk again before I die.” The minister wasn’t quite sure what he believed about divine healing but to comfort the woman he prayed as she had asked him. When he had finished praying he looked up and was surprised to see the elderly woman throw back her blanket kick her legs off the side of the bed and stand up. Then with the biggest grin he had ever seen the woman began to dance around the room while yelling at the top of her lungs, “My pastor prayed for me and God healed me.” At the sound of all this commotion people began to pock their heads into the room to see what was going on. Nurses, doctors and patients showed up. Then phone calls were made and soon there were neighbors, children and grand kids all filling up the room with an overwhelming sense of excitement and joy. And the whole time this elderly woman continued to shout “My pastor prayed for me and God healed me.” “My pastor prayed for me and God healed me.” Eventually the young minister was able say his good-byes and slip out of the room. He made his way quietly back to his car, and once inside he just sat there taking it all in. Finally he looked up towards heaven and said to God, “Heavenly Father, please, don’t ever do that to me again!”
Divine Healing. A topic many of us enjoy talking about but few of us know anything about Where does divine healing fit in the ministry of the church? When and where are we to turn to divine healing rather than to standard medical care? Healing, how does it all work? But it’s one thing to talk about healing it’s another thing all together to experience that healing that comes from the very hand of God. And so for many of us it feels a whole lot safer to stay with the talk then to get too close to that divine power that we have no control over. For there is in God a deep and dazzling darkness.” An element of the unknown, the uncontrollable. A power that can either transform us or destroy us. So out of fear we keep our mouths shut about our brokenness. We draw back from the presence of God. We do not ask and so we do not receive. I sometimes wonder how many have never received divine healing simply because they never asked for it? This morning I am going to share with you my understanding of divine healing and then I’m going to give you the opportunity to ask God for the healing you need in you life. Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” And the apostle Paul said, “In Him all things hold together.” So if we are to talk about healing then we must talk about Jesus for it is through the Christ that God reached out His hand to heal a broken world. Jesus is the Alpha, He is the beginning to all healing For in the beginning through Jesus God created all things Then He created man and woman in His own image. Jesus Christ is the archetype, the original upon which we were formed. We were created to reflect the glory of God just as Jesus does. This is why Jesus is called both the Son of God and the Son of Man. For when we see Jesus we see God and at the same time we also see who we were created to be in the very beginning, children of God. But when sin broke into the world our relationship with God was cut off. Like a mirror that has been shattered. In that terrible moment we ceased reflecting the image of our creator. So God sent Jesus into the world to redeem us from the power of sin and to restore us back to the glory in which we were first created. Restoration is an on going process begun on the cross where the price for our sin filled lives was paid for once and for all.
Restoration then finds it’s conclusion in the Christ for Jesus is also the Omega. He is the end of our journey towards restoration. Our restoration will find it’s completion when in the end we see Jesus face to face. In that moment we will be transformed to be like the Christ. This is why the ultimate act of healing is the resurrection from the dead. At that final moment the old shall end and the new shall begin. All our tears shall be wiped away and we shall receive our eternal bodies. This journey of restoration is carried out through the power of the Holy Spirit by which God transforms us day by day -- little by little into the image of Christ. Jesus is the Alpha and he is the Omega, the beginning and the end of our journey towards restoration. And in the between time the Spirit of Christ poured out into our hearts is God’s down payment to us until that final day when we are all completely restored once and for all. The Spirit of the Christ which we have received in the here and now is only a foretaste of what is yet to come. And the power of God’s Spirit that we experience here on earth is but the smallest of the smallest expression of what is still to come. But if this is so, then why does God heal in the here and now? Why doesn’t He just wait until the day of the resurrection? I mean, if no matter how much we are healed we must still face the grave, we must all still die, then why doesn’t God just wait and get it all over at the end all at once? What is God’s purpose for divine healing on this side of the grave?