Sermon for 07 February 2021

Sermon When do you know you are Healed?

There is a story about a prophetic preacher who bought a dog. The first thing he did was to teach him to “Heal”. The dog learned well and made a lot of money. A lot more than the preacher.

A lot of people have made money over the years doing exactly that; healing others, both legitimately and not. A lot of people have paid huge sums to be healed.

There are many stories about people discovering they have a disease and then going to extremes to get it cured. How many people have taken trips to other countries? How many have been willing to be a medical experiment? How many have sought out several doctors and opinions because they were desperate to survive.
I don’t fault anyone for whatever length they go to, to get better. We are not cats. We don’t have nine lives. So being well is uppermost in many minds

In this story Jesus is asked by Peter to heal his mother-in-law, (obviously a very caring son-in-law). We don’t know anything about the illness she had other than it was a fever and she was sick in bed. Peter recognized that Jesus had the power to heal others. Just before this he had cured a man with an unclean spirit. Following this story, the passage says that the disciples brought everyone from the region who was sick and Jesus healed them too.

That would be quite a job because realistically that would include everyone. Everyone has some kind of trauma or tragedy. Everyone has some form of upset or illness. I don’t think our society is anymore ill or traumatized than any other in history, we are just more willing to talk about it. Back in Jesus’ day they didn’t have facebook so there wasn’t the same platform to get the info out.

Everyone has difficulty. There is no scale to compare. What might be a major setback for some maybe a minor bump in the road for others.

PTSD is becoming recognized as a source of suffering. However two people can live through the same experience and some are devastated and another is not.

Every experience we have creates a memory. For some people an incident in their earlier lives may have a horrible repercussion on them while others may have far less consequences from a similar experience.

It’s not just emotional trauma either. Some of you listening to this would agree that the “wounds of youth are the arthritis of the older” or “every scar tells a story”
Sometimes our bodies develop pains or disease or weaknesses that leave us susceptible to illness. If you had allergies as a child you may have difficulty with your lungs as an adult.

When Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in -law we don’t know what he addressed. We just know he was able to raise her up.

Our physical illness is directly tied to our mental situation. Stress and worry can make you ill.
Saw a T-shirt the other day that said “Pink Freud – the dark side of your mother” If you grew up on Rock and Roll you will understand that joke.

Perhaps Peter’s mother-in-law was worried about this new guy, Jesus who her son-in-law was hanging out with, after all her daughter had married him. Peter used to be a good man. He had a good job – but now what?
Maybe Jesus was able to alleviate some of her hesitation and that caused her to improve.

I share that first part merely to point out that there are so many different levels of dis-ease.
It seems as though you never fully get better.

To complicate things more; when you are sick you tend to feel that you are not very useful. The woman in the story was having people over to her house yet she was restricted to the bed. She couldn’t get up and be the host. That would add to her stress.

Somehow Jesus was able to heal this woman. Did he have some kind of kinetic energy? Did he have a healing touch? Did he have a reassurance that gave her strength?

I don’t know what he did or how he did it, but he healed her.
Somehow his connection to her facilitated her healing.
I also know that people who have a connection to faith heal faster both emotionally and physically. The symptoms may not all be gone but they are able to deal with them better.

How do we know she was healed?
This to me is the pivotal point of the passage.
The sentence is: after the fever left her, she got up and served them”
This has been challenged as chauvinistic and while the society of that day was, I don’t believe that was the intent of the statement.

Even Jesus says I have come to serve – not to be served.

Jesus healed her so she could carry on with what gave her meaning in her life.

It is the climax of the story when the woman turns her focus outward instead of inward. That is when you know that your life has turned the corner. That is when you know the healing has turned the corner. This is not something that can be forced. Sometimes I will encourage people to reach out to others as a way of starting the healing process, but if you are not ready then it is artificial and hurts both parties. There is nothing worse than someone who is a fake helper. When you are ready to serve it shows you are healing

We can use the same analogy with nature. As our world gets sicker it’s capacity to serve or help the human race, declines.

We can us the same analogy with other things: big business, governments, organizations even churches. As they get sicker they turn their focus inward and are unable to be of service.

For this woman the healing was instantaneous and so she was able to resume her world.
That is not always the case. For many it is a more prolonged event.

As you bring your faith into your life and into the life of the world your focus will expand. That is how you will know that the healing has begun.

God, every stream has a rough course to travel yet we know that the water eventually gets where it should go. We know that every life has difficulties yet we know that we must carry on. Help us to see the obstacles in the stream of life, not as barriers but as objects that can redirect us. Help us to focus not on the pain but on the potential. Give us the faith to see past the present moment. Give us strength to believe in ourselves and what you can do with us. God we thank you for your son and the healing he has given to the world.
We pray in silence, for those who need special care at this time…..

Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever Amen

SERVICE February 7, 2021
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers: Cathy, Hugh, Marion
Opening Prayer
Hymn – It’s a Me
Scripture Mark 1: 29-39
Reflection How do you Know when you are Healed
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn Lord Speak to Me 589

Go now in Peace
Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen

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Make the cheque out to:
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send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0

An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
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