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Talk about God’s power in action. Have you heard about this one yet? A would-be robber is convicted by his victim’s faith and actually gets on his knees to pray with her and then surrenders the final bullet from his gun.
Debates on our are raging in political and corporate offices around the country. Traditionally, however, churches and faith centers have been the sites of healing, health, and wholeness for a community.
In the 1970s, many churches in the U.S. experienced a resurgence of “healing ministries” that accompanied a renewed charismatic movement. Though it may not always be God’s purpose and will to perform spectacular demonstrations of his healing power, it is clear that he equips his people with the gift of healing. Healing services, laying on of hands, anointing with oil, healing prayer, and many other manifestations all spring from the healing ministry of Jesus. It’s what he did: He healed. He taught. He saved.
This “making people whole again” was a way Jesus prepared those he met for receiving the Good News into their lives. Karin Granberg-Michaelson wrote in her 1984 Sojourners article,:
In considering the healing miracles of Jesus and the profound emphasis he placed on wholeness, we must ask what Jesus wished to communicate through his healing works in people’s lives. That is best answered in the context of more basic assumptions about the meaning of Jesus’ overall ministry in and to the world.
While many churches are deeply faithful to their healing ministry, it sometimes doesn’t make it past the church doors. It doesn’t flow into a social concern for how we as Christians can serve the common good. “If the church is to reclaim its healing ministry, it must ask the question ‘what constitutes wholeness?'” writes Granberg-Michaelson.
Wholeness is not just for the individual or the community of Christians; it is a gift God gives to us and through us for the larger society. It is part and parcel of how we move as a society “toward healing and reconciliation,” as Granberg-Michaelson puts it.
If healing and wholeness (spiritual, physical, and emotional) is a gift that God gives to the church, then it is our responsibility to find ways to share the workings of that gift in service of the common good.says:
Whole person health care [the treatment of a person as a unity of body, mind, and spirit] is, therefore, the heritage of the church. We must reclaim our function as the primary mediator of healing in society.
One important way that we as Christians can “reclaim our function as the primary mediator of healing in society” is byand working to craft a system that allows healing to flow throughout our land.
We want to craft a health-care system that honors a fair exchange of money for services, that redistributes our social capital toward the health and healing of all over the long-term, and that allows for philanthropy and generosity of heart by those who can give freely for the betterment of all.
that reflects a commitment to healing and wholeness for the sake of securing human dignity is a priority. It’s one way Christians can extend our healing ministry toward our national body.
This article appears courtesy of a partnership with Sojourners.
UrbanFaith is still marveling over yesterday’s miracle on the Hudson River, when US Airways Flight 1549 landed safely there after double engine failure over New York. We send up a big hallelujah that not one of the 155 passengers on board the plane were lost. Props also must go out to the plane’s heroic pilot, Chesley Sullenberger, whose decisive courage averted what would have been certain disaster.