Yesterday, (7/22/2018) in the Gospel for Pentecost 9, many Christians celebrated the compassionate healing activity of Jesus. His powerful ministry continued through the apostles. And centuries later it still spreads through the gift of healing as we seek and pray for God’s kingdom to come “on earth as it is in heaven.” It’s a good time to prayerfully support the devoted service of hosts of health care professionals, medical researchers, intercessory prayer warriors and those offering pastoral care.
The scripture text, especially Mark 6:56, stands out as a straightforward and magnetic statement about God’s will for all:” Wherever Jesus came, in villages, cities, or country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and besought him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment; and as many as touched it were made well.” By being in touch with countless sources of grace all of us continue to access the healing energies of our compassionate creator and redeemer. The scope and vision of healing continues to increase in human history. We still would touch “even the fringe of Jesus’ garment.”
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Here is a guided meditation this preacher used during yesterday’s liturgy, and for a hospital visit afterwards. It may be helpful for exercising the faith muscles, and for engaging others in a healing experience through prayerful imagination.
After a brief prayer and a bit of silence: “In the mind’s eye, go to your physician’s office for examination and treatment…So here you are in the familiar office where you check in with name and appointment time. There are a few institutional looking chairs. Find a place to sit. You notice some plants and pictures. Then check out the others. Wonder why they are here? Pick up a magazine to while away the time. It’s from last year. After a few minutes you think about some “to dos” for later in the day- and then just breathe out a cleansing breath, relax and wait…There is a reason they call this a waiting room. How do you feel about just hanging out here? The people ahead of you are called out one by one. And others arrive to check in. Finally the attendant nurse opens the inner door and clearly calls your name. After the weighing in, the nurse leads you down the hall to a private room. As your blood pressure is being taken, you look around. There is the usual examination table with a freshly pulled paper covering, some charts provided by pharmaceutical companies, a few boxes of sterile items, maybe. The nurse stands, and with one hand grasping the doorknob, turns to you and says: “The doctor will be with you shortly. We’ve been very busy today.” …More waiting around, even older magazines. Look over the charts…Feeling a bit exposed and vulnerable.Then it occurs to you. “Maybe a little prayer would be good.” As you pray bits of scripture come to mind: “For God alone my soul in silence waits,” “Lo, I am with you always.” Now your inner eyes are closed. With the eyes of faith, you are surprised to see Jesus, sitting right there, in the chair directly across form you… His body seems to be clothed in a warm vibrating energy. Gentle light fills the space between you and expands to bathe your body from head to toe in a warm personal radiance. You feel loved, blessed really. Now breath the light into your body. Let yourself be touched throughout with this healing energy. And now, invite the light to bathe any places within that may need the Great Physician’s touch…Just rest here for a bit. Like a thirsty sponge soak up the mysterious energy, the uncreated light…”
After a bit, close with a portion of Psalm 103: “Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me praise God’s holy name. Forget not all his benefits. The Lord forgives all your iniquities. The Lord heals all your infirmities…Bless the Lord O my Soul.”
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Invite the group or individual to leave the place of faithful imagination and become present with you. When eyes are open, ask these three questions and listen attentively to the response: What’s happening?..How do you feel?..What will you take with you as a memory of this experience?