Homilies by Rev. Andrew Collis unless indicated otherwise.
‘The Gift of Healing’
As the people watched and listened to Jesus as he offered them his ministry, they were obviously impressed by his capacity to heal. On one level, healing of others is indeed a miracle, whether it is done by Jesus, or one of us. Two members of my family had a gift of healing -
Of course, a gift of healing can sometimes be dangerous to others if you offer it to them and they are not physically healed. Some conservative churches, particularly, when they fail to heal someone, often put the blame on the person concerned -
As a child and young person, I would see people step out of wheelchairs and walk for the first time, by God for something which they truly regretted in their lives, was one of the most powerful forms of healing, as well as many other forms of healing. Shortly before she died, my Mother prayed over a child with a non-
If we listen carefully to our Gospel for today, we see a Jesus who did heal people. The first one in this account was obviously mentally ill -
Before I retired, when I was the Minister of the Pitt Street Church in the City, one of the most significant things which I realised was that, to help people feel truly forgiven for something they regretted in their lives was one of the most powerful forms of healing. Many people found it hard to believe in a God who would forgive them and I found it necessary to create a special little chapel in one corner of the church which was dedicated to people who needed a powerful liturgy of forgiveness and ways of imaging that -
Many people need healing from non-
The little Blue Knot side chapel in our church reminds them of this and is there for comfort. Life can be very complex in relation to things which hurt other people -
Healing can also often be expressed as we protest and act to bring compassion and justice in our communities and political life and in caring for the creation.
It is not simply an individual relationship. When we give a shelter in our hall for homeless people or offer plots in our community garden behind the church, that can be part of a healing process. However we share in healing, we can learn from each other, both how to do that and the varied nature of human vulnerability. We can teach each other about that, without betraying other people's private vulnerability. This commitment can certainly lie in our life together -
So, as we hear in our hearts the Gospel for today, let us carry love and healing into the world in a wide range of ways, rather than simply hoping for the gift of obvious miraculous forms of healing.