Wednesdays at 6:15 p.m.
Healing is related to what the Hebrew scriptures call shalom, an overall, deep peace or wellness. Healing through Christ enables us to discover new places of peace in ourselves, our situations, and our world—sometimes in the midst of conflict and sickness, disease and death. In fact, sometimes death itself brings healing, especially if a person has been suffering.
Healing can include a cure, though not always. Some of us, when we pray for healing, ask that God would give a person (ourselves or another) whatever the person needs to be faithful, to know love, and to remain close to God. Sometimes, all we can bring to God is our most honest prayer: "God, take away the cancer. Give sight. Make well, again." -- and those prayers are fine, as well. More than anything, God invites us to be honest and draw closer-- whether our honest prayers are pious, selfish, holy, angry, or a mixture. Our Wednesday Eucharist (Holy Communion, offered at 6 p.m.) includes an invitation for persons to come forward to receive the laying on of hands (as the priest places hands on the head of the person), prayers for healing, and anointing with Holy Oil. One of the best and shortest descriptions of healing prayers comes from the Iona Community in Scotland. Healing is a big part of the prayer of that community, and is introduced with these words:
We each stand in need of healing, but in this ministry we recognize also the social dimension. The healing of divided communities and nations, and the healing of the earth itself, have their place alongside the healing of broken bodies, hurt minds and wounded hearts, and of the hurts and divisions within ourselves. So too our prayers are complementary to the work of medicine and other forms of healing, which are also channels of God’s loving and transforming purpose.
The introduction goes on to explain that we offer names, places, and situations for healing by God not as “problems to be solved, but as a focus for God’s acceptance and love. We are not seeking to change God but to change the world; and we trust God that our prayers will be answered, although we do not know when or how healing will happen.” [Iona Abbey Worshipbook, p. 88]
Join us some Wednesday evening. Bring your intentions for healing in yourself, someone you know, or the world.