God created us to enjoy a loving relationship with Himself, reflecting His own nature. To live in a mutually supportive fellowship with one another and being in harmony with all His creation. But mankind has rebelled against God, sinned against his fellow and bespoiled God’s creation.
Jesus came to restore God’s kingdom to its right balance, reconciling us to God through forgiveness; helping us to love one another through His spirit and re-establishing a caring community. Wherever God’s kingdom has broken down, God seeks to restore it to what He intended it to be. This means that God’s will for us is wholeness, both individual and corporate.
We all are damaged or broken in some way; physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, spiritually. We all carry burdens – pain, illness, fear, hurts, shame, anxiety, resentment, guilt, loneliness, doubt, bereavement, sorrow, sadness, memories, disappointment, anger, lack of self-worth and so on. These all belittle us; they can grow and overwhelm us and prevent us being the fulfilled and complete people God created us to be, taking away our joy, happiness and peace; our very selves. God wants us to be whole. He wants to heal us, to give us fullness of life. What a wonderful blessing. It is because we are created in God’s image that He can restore us to the state He intended for us.
Jesus himself was a healer and he committed his ministry of healing to his disciples, so the church has always been a healing community, exercised corporately and through individuals. Healing happens through a variety of means. The skills He gives to doctors and through medical science, social interaction, love, caring and friendship, faith both ours and others, through prayer, worship, laying on of hands. But it is always God who heals and not we ourselves. We are simply His instruments.
We are not to expect that suddenly all our problems will be solved. Healing can be partial and gradual as well as immediate or swift. A beginning as well as instantaneous and of course the effects of some past events can never be changed. Some struggle with so called unanswered prayer; but God always answers even if it is no or not the answer we wanted (e.g. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane). There is also the difference between healing and “cure”; not all are cured, but all are healed. Peace, courage, strength, patience, faith, hope, forgiveness, even death are all gifts of healing.
God already knows about us and loves us. We are opening ourselves and others to God’s healing power however it may come. So, we can come to God for ourselves, for others, for our community and our world, praying that whatever is broken God will mend; that God’s love for all might prevail and God’s will be done on earth as in heaven and saying, “make me a channel”.
This month’s minister’s message was written by the Reverend Peter Ormerod. Peter was minister here from 1969 until 1974 and both he and his wife, Irene have remained close friends of Lorna and David ever since.