Herald Journal Columns
Sept. 26, 2005, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

What is healing?

By Pastor Robert Kopp, Walker United Methodist Church,
Howard Lake

I would like to discuss the communion, healing, and wholeness service which will begin at Walker United Methodist Church in Howard Lake every third Wednesday at 6 p.m.

The subject of healing is far deeper than receiving a cure to a particular problem.

It’s not a matter of some televangelist bopping someone on the head, and declaring them healed.

Healing involves one’s relationship to oneself, one’s community, and to God.

In many of the miraculous healing stories that Jesus performed, the individual who was healed was restored to community.

James writes in his epistle, “Are any among you sick? They should call the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.

“The prayer of faith will save the sick and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another. And pray for one another, so you may be healed.” James 5:14-16

The way I read that text is that we have a communal responsibility to be present with people who are experiencing brokenness in some form in their lives.

By gathering in the community in Christ’s name, we become a way for the Holy Spirit to move and work about healing, which is to bring about greater fullness in the life of that person, and in the lives of the people who are gathered.

So, in fact, sometimes, people are cured. But, in fact, that isn’t the focus here.

One can experience healing without being cured.

For example, a person who is terminally ill, and who may die shortly, can, in fact, experience healing. As family and friends are gathered at the person’s bedside, all receive God’s grace in becoming reconciled in each other’s love.

The Wednesday service is open to all who proclaim their faith in Jesus Christ, not just those who attend the Methodist church.

Kopp is a registered nurse and pastor, who is attending seminary school in New Brighton.

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