Healing Hands: Series Overview
Throughout the month of July, we encounter stories in the gospel readings that focus on the healing power of Jesus. As our worship team examined these passages, we began to see a trend that was a movement of the Spirit, binding these narratives together. Jesus’ power of healing began with the work that he was doing himself, but Jesus was also an effective leader and delegator—always extending the power to others to do the caring work.
Despite Jesus’ frequent warnings not to tell anyone (the “Messianic secret”) of these healings, people began to spread word of Jesus’ and his disciples’ work. The more people who knew, the more people came seeking healing. Is this not how we would expect these events to unfold? The more widely the healing was proclaimed, the more people were drawn to Jesus. In time, large crowds numbering in the thousands came to Jesus. What did he do? He fed them. Sharing loaves and fishes was more than sitting down and eating; it was a gracious offering of abundant mercy from the Son of God. Just as an abundance of people followed Jesus, an abundant meal was set before them.
When considering this track to incorporate in worship, it is important to realize that Jesus sent out his disciples to do this work. We are sent to do the same. First, we are called to offer and bring life wherever we go. We are then called to be a part of the church—a group sent forth to continue the example set by Jesus’ disciples. In this, we must become known. This is not a self-aggrandizing act, but one that draws crowds to Jesus so they may know healing. Finally, all of our works are to the same end: bringing people to the table of Christ, where grace is offered and received in the breaking of bread and the sharing of the cup.
For many churches, this month will be a time of welcoming a new pastor. Maybe it is a time to commit or recommit to the work of healing in the community. And quite possibly it is a time to renew efforts to “see all the people” who are broken or marginalized, both inside and outside of the church walls. As clergy and lay leadership in churches work together to bring people to Jesus, may the church be known as the place where people can find healing and nourishment for their journey.
Week 3: July 15 Become Known
Week 4: July 22 Draw Crowds
Week 5: July 29 Feed the World