Sermon- “ The Healing Ministry of Christ”  by  Rev. June Fothergill Mark 1: 29-39 A very dignified pastor was visiting a lady in a nursing home who was confined to a wheel chair.  As he stood to leave, the lady asked him to have a word of prayer. He gently took her hand and prayed that God would be with her to bring comfort strength and healing. When he finished praying her face began to glow. She said softly, “Pastor would you help me to my feet?”  Not knowing what else to do he helped her up.  At first she took a few uncertain steps. Then she began to jump up and down, and then to dance and shout and cry with happiness until the whole nursing home was aroused. After she was quieted, the solemn pastor hurried out to his car, closed the door, grabbed hold of the steering wheel   and prayed this little prayer, “Lord don’t you ever do that to me again!”  (p. 31 An Encyclopedia of Humor) I laugh because I know sometimes God works in unexpected way with unexpected people.   Healing is one of those areas of ministry.  Especially today we often don’t expect prayer to have quite such quick and dramatic results!  Yet, why not? Certainly, Jesus is a healer.  There is no doubt about it for anyone who reads the gospel accounts. Providing healing to those with illnesses and problems that kept them from a full life was one way he embodied the kingdom of God.  He also empowered his followers to heal others too and they continued to do so after his death and resurrection.   The ministry of healing thus is an important part of our Christian witness. We have done it down through the ages by opening hospitals and clinics, working to eradicate diseases like malaria and praying for one another and offering anointing with oil.  If someone is in the hospital, we like to know so we can visit and pray with that person.  We like to offer condolences and help in times of grief and loss.  We send cards and pray for those with health issues.   And today we will offer a time for folks to come forward to receive or offer prayers and anointing for healing. We do this because we want to continue Jesus ministry of healing to a hurting world.  We do it trusting that Christ’s Holy Spirit will move through our humble acts of caring and prayer to bring healing and hope to people.   We realize that healing is a gift of God’s spirit not our own doing. Yet, even so there is a mystery to God’s healing that...

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