The gospels are packed with stories of healing, but what does healing actually look like in our ordinary lives? Do we expect physical cures? Do we pray for acceptance of our condition? Do we seek healing for the ugliness smuggled in our hearts, or for our family history? Can a peaceful death be a healing experience? How has good teaching healed you? When have you seen a community healed?
These are questions worth pondering. In Matthew alone, there are about forty references to Jesus healing bodies, healing hearts, healing communities. Not once did he support the view that sickness was punishment from God. Instead, he saw sin and sickness as destructive forces which tear people apart. His focus, then, was not solely on the physical condition, but on the whole person. Such healing integrated bodies, minds and spirits; people and communities; people and God; and was inextricably linked with teaching and proclaiming the good news of heaven’s kingdom-culture.
Each year, we put together a booklet of readings for Lent on a theme. This year, our readings will focus on healing in the gospel according to Matthew, alongside our own stories of healing. So it’s time to put your prayerful thinking cap on. When have you been a witness to gospel healing? What story are you willing to share? Talk about it over dinner, ask your kids for their stories, and get writing.
Send me your piece, ideally between 400 and 700 words. As in previous years, your piece will be identified in the booklet by first name only, and not by name at all on the website. If you need some gospel kickstarters, the suggested readings (first draft) is now on the website; you can read the list here. Choose a reading, ponder the questions, and write. All pieces need to be in by Sunday 16 February, so I can collate, format and plug gaps ready for distribution before Ash Wednesday.
Emailed to Sanctuary on 29 January 2020 © Sanctuary, 2020.
If this post stimulated your thinking or restored your equilibrium, why not share it on social media? And why not flick a double shot coffee our way, to support our ongoing thinking, writing and praying. We are a small young faith community seeking to revitalize tired faith. Your contribution helps keep us awake.