Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7
NHCC will hold its traditional healing service during Zoom worship on Sunday, March 7, 2021. All are invited to request prayers for oneself or for others. Contact us to submit prayer requests in advance.
To read ahead:
Jesus was a healer. He was a mystic, a prophet, a change-maker, a believer and a teacher — among other things, but in scripture he was a healer.
He addressed physical, spiritual and theological injuries with touch, faith, prayer and community to bring about healing.
Healing means many things: it takes many shapes. It may or may not mean the same as cure. It may or may not be absolute and complete. But in scripture it means something akin to improvement, recovery and change. It means better. It is the first cousin of revival and resurrection.
This year Healing Sunday at NHCC will miss several Biblical dimensions: the laying on of hands or any element of safe touch, as well as the face-to-face prayer that we value. We won’t be able to light a candle together. We won’t be able to pass you the bread of life and the cup of blessing at our communion table.
So how do we do it?
As best we can.
Being online live together is one ingredient. Doing something at the same time, in God’s time, is still possible.
Then we’ll share stories: three of our members will speak about their yearning and their healing this year.
We’ll gather your requests for prayer. And if these are confidential or tender you can bring them to the pastor any day of any week.
We’ll share scripture. In every form scripture brings power and hope, even when it takes explanation or interpretation.
Following are some scriptures we will read and others not in our Sunday worship this week. They are all texts of healing, a few edited for clarity.
One great American pastor said that “If it doesn’t preach on the cancer ward it isn’t the Gospel.” Whether it’s a message of history or prophecy or social change, Jesus’ story always speaks to everyone in every situation. Keep track and see how you find this true.
Another well-known pastor summed up all the dimensions of the Gospel as a great inspiration for how to live together in church, saying,
“The world is too dangerous for anything but truth,
and too small for anything but love.”
We hope these scriptures offer truth and love.
The Prophet Jeremiah speaks of healing in chapters17 & 33.
“Blessed are those who trust in the Lord: whose trust is in the Lord. They are like a tree, planted by the water, that sends out its roots by the stream… Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me and I shall be saved; for thou art my praise. (…) And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah… ‘Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you of great and hidden things… Behold, I will bring (Jerusalem) health and healing, and I will heal (you) and reveal to you abundance… I will restore and rebuild.’”
The Book of Lamentations that begins and ends this way:
“How lonely sits the city that was full of people!” “Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us; behold and see our disgrace… Why dost thou forget us for ever, why doest thou so long forsake us? Restore us to thyself, O Lord, that we may be restored!
Renew our days as of old!”
Psalm 55, selections
“Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication! Attend to me and answer me… My heart is in anguish within me, the terrors of death have befallen me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me. And I say, O that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; yea, I would wander afar… I would haste to find me a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.”
Psalm 42: 2
“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and behold the face of God?”
Luke 17: 11-19
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!’
When he saw them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, ‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well.’”
Mark 8: 22-25
“They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to (Jesus) and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, ‘Can you see anything?’ And the man looked up and said, ‘I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.’ Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.”
On your own read the story of Lazarus in John 11, as well as the vision of healing in Revelation 21. As you can see, healing involves materials, effort, faith and imagination. It is hard and we come through it differently than when we began. Because in scripture healing always involves God.