Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Everyone is a healer

Therapea – or healing!

In this little mini-serious we have looked at some words that to me are
the keys to understanding what the "kingdom" of God is all about

We have learned it involves mentanoia, or change
We have learned that metanoia comes through agape, or love

And now we get to a third element…
Therapea, or healing
One big clue is that healing was probably the center piece of Jesus personal ministry.
When we think of Jesus and his work, not his teachings, but his work… we think of healing

Another big clue that this third thing is big, really big, in terms of the kingdom, is the fact that when Jesus essentially commissions his disciples, and sends them out, for the first time, to do “ministry’, he charges them with the task of therapea…. Or healing.

By the way, what is healing?  According to the dictionary:
 1. To restore to health or soundness; cure.
2. To set right; repair: healed the rift between us.
3. To restore (a person) to spiritual wholeness.

So to become healed is to become whole and sound; return to health.

Biblically this can mean a lot of things
There is physical healing of course
But healing is clearly more….

Think of the ministry of the servant of God as described in Isaiah 61:1
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

Jesus in Luke 4 echoes this idea when he says:   "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed

We are called… as people with a new vision, as people loved with agape love, and thus capable of loving with agape love… to be healer.  In the kingdom, everyone’s a healer

We might provide different kinds of healing
We might do it in different ways
But every one is a healer…

We might pray, we might just listen
We might be present for others… there is amazing healing power in present
We might hurt with others, and for other
Be people of compassion
We might be people who help feed the hungry
We might work for justice
We might work to help people be free of the things that trap them…

But everyone is a healer.

And this is where communion comes in
One of the words for communion is eucharist..
Eu = well
Charizomai  = give
Eucharist literally means to give wellness, or “the good gift”

The Eucharist emerges from the greatest gift ever given, the gift of Christ on the Cross
Jesus broken, and dying
Jesus being with us… going through what we go through
Separation from God, alienation
Giving himself so we can be well
So our soul death.. our separation from God can be healed.

This is what the Eucharist is all about…
The body
The blood

God gives the world life through the breaking of Christ body and the pouring out of Christ’s blood.  And God continues to give the world through the Body of Christ…through the people of the Kingdom…

Kingdom people… the people of metanoia, and agape, are meant to be a living Eucharist

Christians are a living Eucharist as they allow themselves to be poured out for the healing of the world.
By the way, being broken and poured out doesn't me we are over people.  That we fix them, that we work "on" them.

It mostly means we are WITH them.  We are present.  As fellow travelers.  Fellow sinners.  As those also wounded.  As Christ was with us in separation from God and death in those moments on the cross.

If you’ve ever been to an AA meeting you know why.  AA is a room full of people who are done pretending.  There are no facades, if it is a strong group, no acting… Everyone in the room is in recovery, and they all know each other’s games, masks, and manipulations.

Writer Anne Lamott says the most powerful sermon in the world is two words, "me too".

When you are struggling  when you are hurting, wounded limping, doubting, questioning, barely hanging on,
moments way from another failure.....

And someone is there who can identify with you
Who knows the temptations at your door

Someone who has felt the pain you have felt
And look you in the eye
And say… Me too, and actually mean it…
They can save you.

When you aren’t judged or lectured
Looked down up
But someone shows they get it
They get you

Shows they know what its like
 That you aren’t alone….

That is when the power of Eucharist breaks forth
The Eucharist focuses on the cross, the sacrifice
Not the resurrection… ever thought of that?

It focuses on Christ identifying with us
Its Jesus in a “been there” moment

That is where the power comes from
The Eucharist is God saying “me too”
And therapea happens when the church looks others in the eye

And says… me too
Me too
I hurt, I fail, I fear, I am anxious, I get jealous, I struggle with addiction, I have question, I hate, I get angry
I sin… me too….

But…we say that in the context of grace… and in grace we can see the world in a new way, and we can have new hearts.  We say this in the context of God’s agape love, which gives us value, worth, and hope
Agape love, which is God saying, “I love you, period” 

And thus…there is peace, and hope
There is reconciliation with God
And one another…
There is healing.

This is not an easy thing… this work of healing
Because so often it isn’t fair (as pointed out by those who would kill welfare and other such programs)
Giving to those who can’t give in return is not fair
Serving those how have no way to serve in return, that is not fair
Breaking yourself open and pouring yourself out for people who may never say thank you,
That is not fair

But the cross wasn’t fair.
God is not about fairness, God is about change and love
God is about giving the good gift
Jesus is God’s good gift for the healing of the world
We are Jesus’ body, a good gift for the healing of the world.

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