Worship Companion – August 1 2021

We’re Back! It has been two weeks since we’ve had a worship companion and I’m so happy to be making one again. This week we are picking up on our somewhat sporadic summer sermon series “We The Church.” This series takes us all over the Bible to see who the community of Jesus known as “the Church” is and what we are to do with the time we are given here on Earth.
 
This Week’s Theme: We The Church: A Place of Healing
 
See the source image

Jesus Heals the Paralytic, by J. Kirk, Richards, contemporary

 
 
 
Anchor Texts:
 
 
These texts are helping us hear two main things from God today. First, that God is our healer. It’s interesting to note in this passage from Exodus that God reveals himself as I am the Lord your healer and not I am the Lord who heals your water. The water isn’t the problem, its the lack of trust and rebellious hearts of the people that need healing. In spite of their hard and foolish hearts, God persists in loving them and continuing to be their healer. There is definitely a lesson for us there!
 
The second passage drives home the point that each one of us, as individuals, is a sinner, broken, rebellious, and in need of mercy. Healing comes through grace alone, there is no other way.
 
The Theme in Song:
 
To truly express the hope we have for healing, we must always point to the source of our healing. It doesn’t come from within, it doesn’t come from channeling energy or spirit, it doesn’t come from human wisdom, it doesn’t even come from the church or healers in the church. The source of true healing is always Jesus. God in Christ is bringing His healing to the nations, and this song so beautifully ascribes all the credit when it is due.
 

 
 
The Theme in Art:
 
 

Title: Absalom returns to his father, King David
Date: 1642
Artist: Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, 1606-1669
Object/Function: Painting, panel
City/Town: St. Petersburg
Country: Russia

 
While this painting doesn’t come from either of our anchor texts this week, it is inspired by a story about the fickle nature of human responses to grace. It is a painting that is, at first, heartwarming. The title “Absalom returns to his father, King David” seems to indicate the happy ending to a prodigal son-like story. In reality, this apparent sign of restoration and mercy by King David is followed by Absalom’s deepest betrayal. David’s love and forgiveness are genuine here as the saga of 2 Samuel 13-14 comes to a close. David has remembered the mercy God has shown him (think of Psalm 51) and eventually extends mercy to Absalom, only to be most cruelly treated by his own son. Why include this painting and story in a Worship Companion blog about healing? Because healing in this present earthly age is complex. While the Spirit of God truly does restore us and renew us as in Psalm 51, we are still part of a broken and sinful world. Our healing is perfectly secure in Christ Jesus, but we don’t experience its full effect this side of the resurrection. Even when we have been transformed by grace, we can still experience the sting of rejected grace, like David, and still fall short ourselves. While David has been healed inwardly by the Spirit, his offer of healing to Absalom is rejected.
 
 
The Theme for Kids:
 
There are many stories of Jesus healing in the New Testament. Physical healings are one of the key ways Jesus demonstrates the power of God to heal every kind of human illness. Jesus points out in Matthew 9:5 that the physical healings of people’s bodies are a sign that Jesus has authority to heal the illness that sin causes in the human heart.  God intends to heal all hurts, to wipe away all tears, to restore every body through the work that Jesus will complete at His return for all who follow Him.
 

 
 
My prayer is that these scriptures about our condition and God’s power fill you with hope. While we may still deal with illnesses of heart, body, and mind, we know that a day is coming for the restoration of all things when Jesus our King returns to purify all creation and set it right. 
 
-Pastor Nate
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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