The Healing Christ
In Mark 1:40, we read of a leper who cries out to Jesus, “if you choose you can make me clean.” Lord Jesus stretches out his hand and touches him and says “I do choose. Be made clean!” And, Pastor Kyle reminds us that Jesus chooses us every time. Jesus chooses us all the time.
Jesus chooses us EVERY time.
Jesus chooses us ALL the time.
JESUS THE HEALER
Stories of healing are prolific in the Bible, and this month we have heard many. “Why?” Pastor Kyle asked. “Because Jesus is in the healing business. Jesus is the Healer.” “So, what is in need of healing today?” He continued. “What is in us that needs healing? What’s in the people we know that needs healing?”
In the book of Mark we read of a man, an unknown man, with leprosy. In 2 Kings 5, we learn of another man, Naaman, commander of the army of king Aram, a great man, highly respected. Naaman also had leprosy. And despite their differences, they both needed Jesus to be healed. They both needed the skin to be made clean, fresh and made a new.
Pastor Kyle asked, “what ‘skin’ needs to fall off you so that you can be made clean and fresh; and be made anew?”
A DIFFICULT LESSON
In both stories, we are, again, reminded that it is Jesus who heals, there’s nothing we can do to heal ourselves. Despite our power, our favor with the Lord, our desire to be healed, our yearning to be self-reliant- we are reminded, there is nothing we can do to heal ourselves and be made clean.
In a world that values individualism, a world the celebrates “help yourself,” we are use to being the one in charge and yet, through these stories we are assured we are not in charge when it comes to healing. Whether we live or die- we are healed by Jesus.
“Sometimes we are healed as individuals,” said Pastor Kyle. “Sometimes our healing is corporate healing or as a whole community or the body of Christ in need of healing.” Indeed, healing comes in many different ways through Jesus.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Pastor Kyle told of a recent experience at an ELCA gathering of 160 Lutheran Musicians and Educators called GLOCAL (Global, Ecumenical Local) in Chicago. It is a conference that celebrates and equips us for God’s work in global and local realities, as well as their “glocal” intersections.
God’s family is much bigger than who we see around us. “Usually, when I am anywhere, St. Andrew’s or somewhere nearby,” Pastor Kyle began “I count myself as my white half; this weekend (at the GLOCAL conference), I counted myself as Puerto Rican.” With fewer than 10% of the participants of the GLOCAL conference who were white, Pastor Kyle reminded us the Kingdom of God is so much greater than what we see around us.
Like the story of the unknown man in Mark and the well-known leader, Naaman, God’s Kingdom is diverse, it is beautiful. While we are often separated as a worship body, we are in the Kingdom of God together.
WHO SHOULD WE TELL?
When we hear stories of healing, Pastor Kyle challenged us to look at Jesus instructions that follow. Often, it seems as if who we are to tell is practical, and sometimes tactical. In the book of Mark, for example, Jesus tells the man to only tell the priest, and instead, the man, who cannot contain his enthusiasm for Jesus and his healing powers, tells EVERYONE. What do we learn? That when Jesus heals you there is no stopping the sharing of the Good News. “Jesus is one the move!” Pastor Kyle proclaimed. The question then becomes are we letting Christ in? Are we still enough to let the Holy Spirit come to us?
GOD CHOOSES US
Through this movement inside of us, we are reminded that God chooses us. In our weekly devotional by Intern Pastor Staats, Pastor Kyle reminds us that God loves us through all we do because love is a choice, not a feeling. God chooses us and gives us grace and understanding.
Pastor Kyle related the stories of Jesus on the move and God choosing us to the current Hope Lives campaign. “Jesus is on the move here. God is on the move here. And in the words of Yogi Berra, ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet’.”
And, while at times it is difficult, and seemingly impossible, for our Minnesotan demeanor to shout from the rooftops and proclaim the Good News, Pastor Kyle reminded us of the exuberant methods with which we celebrated the Vikings when the ball was impossibly caught in the last moment of the playoff game that locked us into the NFC championship game. We, as Minnesotans, found our voice. “We have it in us to proclaim and tell that Jesus is Lord,” said Pastor Kyle, “Jesus is a great Healer. Jesus will come. Freedom is coming, for freedom has come.”
Join us this Sunday, as we talk about Christ’s transforming love.