Sermon by Nelson Weippert
My message this morning concerns a part of life we are all familiar with health and healing. I've titled it EPHPHATA- BEING OPEN to God's Healing Power.
EMERGENCY ROOM .
Visiting the Emergency Room at the Barrie for 14 days in a row to get a dressing changed, was quite an experience! --always crowed. -- full of sick people of all ages WAITING TO BE HEALED.
First thing I noticed was the deathly quiet only the haunting whispers of a few sick children and mother's trying to silently comfort them. Mothers comfort children trying to make sure the vomit goes in the bag and not all over them. I could hear them wondering, why is it taking so long?
When someone else gets called before them, they look at each other and their child. questioning with their eyes -why not us? You can almost hear their thinking, "my baby's sick, please take us next!
And yet amongst the crying, vomiting, sniffing and shuffling, there is a mysterious sense of order. As the staff of competent doctors and nurses go about the BUSINESS OF HEALING. I can hear the pleads of the parents, "0 God help my baby!" Pleads of others, " 0 God help me! Please." 0 God, get them to hurry up, I want to go home!
Healing was most important to Jesus ministry, we find Christ spent one-third of his time preaching and two-thirds healing. Sickness, disease and mental health were major problems that plagued the people.
It tells us that health care was a major issue then, and remains a major issue in the world today.
- In our gospel stories this morning-----
We find the Pharisees preoccupied with legalistic issues and when Jesus was healing the sick, He always seemed to challenge the Jewish Purity laws Here, a gentile woman, pleads for her daughter. According to the law of the Pharisees, she is unclean, still, Jesus heals her daughter.
That poor gentleman who was deaf and had a bad speech impediment----was Jesus healed him with his spit and his touch. The Jewish law had strict instructions that all body secretion was unclean and not only that but touching a sick person made you unclean. Yet Jesus healed him!
So Jesus was sending a message to the Jewish Religious leaders, "what is more important :
showing love and compassion or following strict rules?"
Interestingly, our Bible was translated from Greek, yet in the healing the deaf man Jesus calls out "EPHPHATA-- which is Aramaic the language Jesus spoke. In our English Bibles they did not change it but left it in Aramaic.
I wonder why? As well as the healings, Mark wanted to get the message that--- OUR MINDS AND HEARTS MUST ''BE OPEN--EPHPHATA to receive God's gifts?
Gifts of love, compassion, joy and healing.
Since we are thinking about healing, why would God give us the power to heal? Why do we need this healing power?
I wonder how many here this morning are suffering with stomach problems or heart failure-maybe arthritic pain--Remember that pain when you burnt your hand on the stove, or hit your finger instead
of the nail, wow, what excrutciating pain! (VW Commercial on TV)
Pain and other Health issues can block out all our normal senses as the body concentrates on the area of our body that is suffering.
Fortunately God gives us gifts to help us- cope with our pain and suffering ...
I remember Jesus' followers were amazed at his healing miracles-Jesus said to them and us, We would do greater things than he had done!!
Indeed we have!!
- If we think of the major healings and cures medical doctors and scientists have discovered, we can begin to understand Jesus was true to his word and how well we have used the gift of healing.
One could go on and on about this gift of healing that God have given our nurses, doctors and scientists.
There are other healing powers that God has given all of us and we never give them a second thought --
These are healing gifts used by mothers and fathers around the world. It's powerful stuff !
An OLD tradition of healing is being revived in churches across Canada-- it's known as "Healing Pathway Ministry."
This ministry uses the skill of healing hands, also known to many as "laying on of hands, helping to be OPENS to God's gift of healing.
Women and men within the church, believe healing is a process guided by God to restore balance and wholeness of body, mind and spirit.
Through the skill of healing hands the Healing Pathway Ministry bring relief and healing to sufferers of chronic pain, migraines, allergies. They are helping individuals cope with chemotherapy or radiation or other forms of uncomfortable treatment.
Their ministry also care for people who suffer from anxiety and fear brought on by:
Healing Pathway Ministry gives - peace, and inner wholeness to these people.
Our connection to God is our source of power and OUR FAITH MAKES EACH ONE OF US PATHWAYS OF HEALING.
In the story of healing the deafman, Jesus tells us all TO BE OPEN, or another way of saying BE RECEPTIVE -- God has given the gift of healing to all of us and She leaves it up to us to discover ways ofusiug this gift.
YOU MAY WONDER WHEN SHOULD WE CALL ON OUR GIFTS FOR HELP???
We see--In each of gospel stories, the women and the deaf man HAD NO PLACE ELSE TO GO for healing-
Abraham Lincoln once said, I quote" I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had--- NO PLACE ELSE TO GO."
For us, it might be some crisis in our life-itmightbe pain-anxiety-fear- loneliness we fin4 ourselves with no place else to go-- WE CAN ALWAYS TURN TO GOD.
JESUS IS CRYING OUT TO US "BE OPEN"
NOW YOU'RE WONDERING HOW CAN I BE OPEN or RECEPTIVE? Well, I don't pretend to have all the answers-and it can be scary stepping out of our comfort zone and be challenged by God's voice- One minister said "Always wear a hockey helmet when you pray-you never know what the God has in mind for you!"
Your favourite spot where you can hear the sounds of peace
So I suggest you find a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle **** try relax and let God's Spirit take over. Ifs like when you are starting to doze off-in the middle of the day--We all know that feeling!
* * * * concentrate on where or what help is needed- notice the Lord's Prayer daily bread-temptatons - evil - trespasses) it might be loneliness- pain- a problem -depression. "be specific."
** Just Let your ears-your eyes-and your minds be receptive while you talk over the situation with God (conversational prayer) Have faith God will help. (ask-expect)
Most important is to·LISTEN- God's voice is often heard in the SILENCE.
JESUS CRIED OUT-EPHPHATA-BE OPEN!