Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Healing

Last Sunday, Sept. 27, the lectionary included that passage from James which asks: "Is anyone sick?" An Anglican priest was serving communion from house to house in his parish when he got a call from his bishop. The bishop said: "You can't do that; house communion is reserved for the sick." The priest responded: "That's just fine, bishop, in my parish, we're all sick."

James tells us to call for the Elders of the church to pray and anoint the sick. So, I felt led last week to have a Healing Service in church. I have done Healing Services before in smaller settings. In one church I served, the practice was to have a Healing Service immediately after Communion. We'd go from Communion in the sanctuary to a Healing Service in the chapel. It was a group of ten or twelve. We prayed and anointed with oil.

Never had I don't anything like this in a larger setting. So, I felt led to do it on Sunday. I got the olive oil and I invited all who wanted to come forward to be anointed to do do.

I gave the invitation, not telling peoople not to go to the doctor. No, we live in a wonderful age when all kinds of treatment and help are available for our health. I said that God in Christ offers us a deeper healing- which is the meaning of salvation or wholeness.

AA reminds us that we are all at times hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. I asked: "Are you hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?"

I expected some to come, but I was astounded when just about everybody came. I anointed them and said: "Be healed in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." The altar was full of people. It was moving. Lots of tears were shed and lots of love was experienced- God's love.

We are living in a difficult time when many of us are feeling the hurt and pain of the economy, the brokenness in the world, and our own loneliness.

My prayer is that God's healing was experienced in new ways at Bethel Church.
Blessings!
Dave Nichols

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Welcome

Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.
Blessings!
Dave

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A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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