The Healing Power of the Church



The Gospel passage for this past Sunday came from the 8th chapter of St. Mark’s Gospel and is the story of Jesus healing the servant of the centurion.  The servant was paralyzed and the centurion approached Jesus to ask him to heal his servant.  Jesus agrees and wants to go to his home to see the man who was in need of healing and the centurion objects saying that he is not worthy to have Jesus come to his home.  And important thing to remember is that if Jesus had gone to his home he would become ritually unclean.  The centurion would have known this and that is what led him to make this statement.

Jesus is so moved by this man’s faith that he heals the servant without going to the man’s house.   This is the first time we see Jesus heal someone through another person.  Jesus tells him to go and that since he believed it would happen it has happened.  The healing power of the church is something that is often over looked in these days.

I think it would be an understatement to say that this past weeks has been historic.  The decision by the United States Supreme Court that legalized same sex marriage has cause a variety of emotions from happiness to fear.  How should the Church react in situations like this?

Keep in mind that nothing really has changed as far as the Church is concerned.  The US Supreme Court does not have the power or authority to change church theology or doctrine.  I am not one that believes the hype that the government will now force clergy to marry folks that our churches will not allow us too.  I live in Massachusetts where same sex marriage has been the law since 2004 and not one clergy person has been forced to marry anyone.  I do not find that type of discussion helpful in moving forward.

The Church can bring her healing power through love and understanding.  Tolerance is a word that most church folks do not like but I believe that Jesus was rather tolerant in his teaching.  He told his apostles that if they went to a town that did not accept them they were to shake the dust off of their shoes ad move on.  Jesus came into contact with all sorts of people that did not agree with him, he did not ask the government to pass a law forbidding their behavior he changed hearts and minds through love and understanding and that is what the Church needs to do.

After the shooting took place in Charleston, the families of those killed, or should I say martyred, publically forgave the shooter for what he had done.  The world has a hard time understanding how anyone could forgive someone who did something like this but for those of un is the Church this is an example of what we are supposed to do.  I believe it was their example that defused the situation rather than spark riots and what not the city remained calm.  The healing power of love, love for the man who killed their family, brought healing to a city, at state, and perhaps a nation.  Do we have more work to do?  Yes, but this is a good start.

We stand at the point of a new reformation in the church and we can either ride the wave or be washed into irrelevancy and we do this we need to be the calm voice that brings people together rather than the irrational voice yelling from the sidelines.  The word needs to hear our message but they will not hear the message if the world believes we are hypocritical and judgmental.  The woman never would have approached Jesus at the well if he yelled at her as she approached and called her a sinner, in face he never called her a sinner.  Our theology does not have to change but our message and our methods do.

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