apologies that there is not a finished sermon for this week, not yet.
The computer that I usually use has decided to run so slowly as to make it nearly unusable, and an OS upgrade was needed. That brought everything else to a stand still, at least as far as writing goes.
Setting up and taking down my home on crown land had to happen on schedule. There is no forgiveness, just eviction, if I am even one day late getting out, and huge costs if I am not back in as soon as possible.
But that computer is barely running, with no real connection to the internet, yet.
The sermon is about including women as disciples.
The sermon is about healing illnesses, even those that have gone on forever, but not waiting even one day (until the Sabath is done) to heal the illness … enough suffering is enough!
The sermon is about healing the nations: the vision of the New Jerusalem gives John a view that the leaves of the 12 trees, which produce fruit (ie. that’s the 12 tribes of Israel, or all of Israel, or all of God’s people) … the fruit is good, but the leaves are even more important.
The leaves heal the nations.
Which is really the connection point that I wanted to use to ask:
What is it to heal?
To heal an illness?
To get to that then to ask first: what is it to fix something?
A broken bicycle, a broken window, a broken whatever (so say now, what is it to fix a broken computer!)
Then by comparison and for clarity: what is it to heal?
Take a hip replacement for example. The surgeon does not heal anything. She cuts open the leg, saws out the bone of the hip, replaces it with specialize pieces of special metal, and sews up the muscle and tissue. (maybe I could research it, or ask this special retired nurse I know, my mother, who at 80 some has recently had a hip replaced, and I would know more of the details, but his will suffice : it’s cutting, taking out, putting together, and sewing up.
Then comes the rehabilitation and the healing and the pain and the stiffness and heartache, and hip ache … which is still better than it was before.
Except sometimes it does not feel any better, and is actually worse, like one man I visited in the hospital after hip surgery. His never got better, until they opened up his hip again with cutting and slicing … to take out the forceps and sponge gauge that somehow was left in the wound.
His healing took years, first for the ability to walk, but it took longer for his ability to walk without feeling the ghost pain of that forceps digging into his muscles and that gauze, infected eating at his flesh.
Healing is a deeper, more profound event or process, that the organism itself accomplishes. Outside interference is just that, interference.
The next question moves on to the healing of the nations. That’s not just a quick fix, like sewing a broken shoulder strap with camping think waxed cord. It is a very complex event, one that usually bucks all rules, regulations and expectations.
There is another story that will taken much longer to write out to be shared. That story is a kind of “If Beale Street Could Talk?” kind of event
But I am sure that the reader could probably add there own stories of healing.
Mine is of being in a foreign country, biking everywhere, and coming down with a cold. I could hardly shake. Then the sponsors of my full scholarship to study abroad gave me good tickets to a concert downtown, a string quintet.
Mozart and other composers gave witness to the rightness of the universe.
I biked back up the hill to the Studenentheim, free of the cold.
Healing is a spiritual event. It is finding the spirit to allow the body to heal.
What would the man, ill for more than 38 years smell like, dream like hope like… be like, after he was free of the illness?
That’s us: ill for so long, needing help to heal. And we receive it, What do we do with it?
if it is healing of the nations, then we help others heal, until the whole creation sings in praise of what God has done for us.
At least that what collected for me around the desire thwarted to have a sermon ready before today. Somehow that just seems a bit