I believe that it is God’s nature to heal, that is, to continue creating us to be the unique persons God intends. When we are sick; when disaster strikes; when we are buffeted by betrayal, tragedy, abuse, or our own sin; when we are oppressed by distorted social systems, God’s desire is to redeem, transform, and make new.
– Tilda Norberg, Gathered Together
Isaiah 61:1-4 (NIV)
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.
God doesn’t throw things away. Our God redeems. God has the power to bring: beauty from ashes, gladness from mourning, praise from a spirit of despair, restoration from devastation, wholeness from brokenness, good from evil… This is best shown in the great reversal of the cross. Some looked at Jesus’ being crucified and saw punishment, violence, suffering, guilt, and death. In reality, the crucifixion was a means of healing, forgiveness, salvation, and new life.
In a recent worship service we illustrated this truth by first handing everyone a Band-aid. At the end of the message, persons brought in a large cross painted with the word healing. Everyone was then encouraged to write the name of a person, institution or situation in need of redemption/healing on their Band-aid. As an act of prayer, persons came forward and stuck the Band-aid to the cross. They also prayed while others participated.
What symbols and acts have you used to help persons see and claim God’s redeeming power? – Lisa <><
For information on the Children’s Confession Quilt also seen in the first picture,
For another altar table display idea related to healing, click here
For a simple order of worship for a healing service, click here
Scripture quotation taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.