Tag Archive for 'healing'

Lent 4 April 3, 2011

This was one of our periodic “Come with Joy” Sundays, in which the children are with the rest of the congregation for the entire service and we incorporate elements like the following drama into the worship.  This is a dramatization of the story of the healing of the man born blind in John 9:1-41.

WHO IS THIS WHO OPENS THE EYES OF THE BLIND?

 The Narrator takes her place on a chair before the Altar, her market basket (concealing the script) on her lap. She is clad in a shawl that covers her hair.

Narrator  Well, I’m here to tell you! I don’t know what to think. I’m still trying to sort it out. What I do know is that, for myself, well . . . I’ll never be the same again. You see, I was there in the marketplace, just minding my own business. And there was this man – I’d heard of him – the one called Jesus, who’s been causing all this talk and commotion around. He’d he was standing in front of the blind man who always sits there begging. His disciples were with him, and they’d asked him, “Teacher, is this man blind because he sinned himself or is he blind because his parents sinned?” Well, a crowd was gathering. We all wanted to know what this famous Teacher would answer. Who’s to blame for all that’s wrong in the world? It’s an important question.

Gong is struck and tableau players take their places: Blind Man seated on the floor, his eyes shut; Jesus in white robe standing next to him; Crowd on either side, peering curiously at the two of them.

Jesus I tell you, neither this man nor his parents sinned. You are all quite blind yourselves — always trying to blame someone or something for what’s wrong in life. But there’s another way. This man was born blind so that God’s mighty works might be revealed in him. You and I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

Narrator  (while Jesus pantomimes action she describes) After Jesus said this, he did something amazing. He spat on the ground and made mud with his saliva and spread the mud on the blind man’s eyes.

Jesus Go, wash in the pool called Sent Forth!

Gong is struck and tableau players return to their seats.

Narrator  Well, I tell you I didn’t know what to think. I mean, spitting: we all know saliva is unclean. But here Jesus was using it to make healing mud for the man’s eyes. And using the dust of the earth to do so: well, it made me think of the Lord God creating Humankind from the dust of the earth. And it wasn’t just me. Everyone was quite awestruck. But while they were still talking and wondering about it all, the blind man returned from washing and now he could see.

Blind Man stands in center, his eyes wide open and his arms stretched up to heaven. As singing begins, he returns to his seat.

 Verse One of “Amazing Grace”

Narrator  Well, as you can imagine this wasn’t the end of things. Oh, no! It was more like the beginning. There was a grand commotion, I’m here to tell you.

Gong is struck and tableau players take their places: Blind Man standing, his eyes wide open; Crowd around him, gesticulating with excitement and disagreement.

Narrator There were some who were saying this wasn’t the man who had been blind, just someone who looked like him. After all, who ever heard of a blind person being healed – especially the way Jesus had done. But the man himself kept saying, “I am the man. The one called Jesus healed my sight. He made mud, put it on my eyes, I went and washed in the pool called Sent Forth, and suddenly I received my sight.”

 Verse Two of “Amazing Grace”

 As singing begins, tableau players return to their seats.

Gong is struck and Blind Man and Pharisees take their places: Blind Man standing as before; Pharisees pointing accusingly at him.

Narrator  So they did what they always do in these situations. They called in the experts, the holy authorities: the Pharisees. And the man explained all over again what Jesus had done with the mud and how he’d been healed. But the Pharisees scowled and shook their heads. “This is impossible,” they decreed. “This man Jesus could not have healed you because he is a sinner himself. He does not observe the Sabbath. A sinner could not have performed such signs.” They confronted the man with this: “So what do you have to say about this Jesus now?” But the man responded, “He is a prophet.”

Narrator  Well, that about did it! The Pharisees flew into a rage. They called the man’s parents, but the parents were frightened and wouldn’t take sides. All they’d say is that the man was their son and, yes, he had been born blind. Yet the man who’d been healed was insistent: Jesus had healed him and now he could see. So the Pharisees began attacking the man himself, saying that he must be a sinner too. And it all ended with the Pharisees driving the man out of town.

Pharisees pantomime driving the Blind Man out of town.

Gong is struck and all return to their seats.

Narrator Well, that was enough for me. I headed for home, like everyone else. You don’t want to be around when those religious people get riled up like that. You could be the next one they attack when they’re in that self-righteous mood of theirs. But as I was nearing home, there on the road ahead of me was the man who’d been healed. Jesus had found him and was speaking to him.

Gong is struck and the Blind Man and Jesus take their places.

Jesus Do you believe in the Son of Man?

Blind Man And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.

Jesus You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.

Blind Man Lord, I believe.

 Verse Three of “Amazing Grace”

 Blind Man returns to his seat. Narrator exits. Jesus remains, standing in the center.

Jesus I came into the world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind. (He too retires as the singing begins.)

 Verses Four and Five of “Amazing Grace”

 At conclusion of the verses, the cast stands and acknowledges applause.

Pentecost 2 June 6, 2010

1 Kings 17:17-24                                                                 June 6, 2010

Luke 7:11-17                                                                       John L. McCausland

The Bible is peppered with poor widows. Like the two in the readings today, they are almost all nameless. Women in general in biblical society were without rights, including the right to own property. Indeed, they were themselves property, property of the men in their lives: first of their fathers, then of their husbands, then of their sons. And if they were widowed, they depended completely on their children, particularly their male children, to support and protect them. So these two stories tell us something important when they explain that in each case the widows had only one son, and that son was dead. Here we have two women utterly without earthly security, as good as without identity or meaning.

Why is the Bible so fond of these poor widows? I think it’s because you and I, all of us, are in reality just a few steps away from poor widowhood ourselves. Yes, of course, we have legal rights and a social safety net and material comforts beyond what all but a tiny few enjoyed in the time of Jesus. But for all of that, we really don’t have much control over our lives and the world. We have little idea what the world will be like in 50 years, whether there will even be human beings on the earth’s face. And in the shorter range, we don’t know about our own health five years from now, or the security of our children or grandchildren. So the poor widows of Scripture are Everyman, Everywoman, the human condition stripped of illusions — us. Continue reading ‘Pentecost 2 June 6, 2010’

Easter 6 May 9, 2010

Acts 16:9-15                                                                        

Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5                                                               

John 5:1-9

Last Sunday Jude Desmarais, our breakfast chef, was out of town, attending his daughter Carina’s graduation from the University of Michigan. So the whole responsibility for breakfast lay on Kourtney Williams, the high school junior who’s been working as Jude’s assistant. She was nervous, but she pulled it off beautifully.

Talking with her about it, I told her of a story that I’d read when I was little in a children’s magazine we got, Jack and Jill. The story was about a little girl who had to prepare dinner for herself because of some emergency absence of her mother. The girl had fixed dinner with her mother present, but never alone. So she went up to the attic and brought down a dressmaker’s dummy – something common back then when more people made their own clothes. She put one of her mother’s dresses on the dummy and pretended her mother was there, giving her cooking instructions. And she cooked her dinner all by herself.

 “Do you want to be made well?” Jesus asks the man in the gospel this morning. The man had been ill for 38 years and was lying by a pool in Jerusalem noted for its healing powers – powers attributed to angels who stirred up its waters from time to time. The problem the sick man had was that no one was there to carry him into the pool at the crucial moment, and when he tried to drag himself in he was always crowded out by others waiting to enter the waters. And what does Jesus do about this? He says to the man, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” Which the man does, and he is healed. Then comes the cryptic statement: “Now that day was a sabbath.” Continue reading ‘Easter 6 May 9, 2010’

Pentecost 14 September 6, 2009

James 2:1-17                                                                       

Mark 7:24-37                                                                      

Once upon a time the gospel this morning would have been heard simply as an account of two miracle healings, the daughter of a Gentile woman and a deaf man. Today we understand that while such stories are indeed about the miraculous power of Jesus as Son of God, they are signs or clues that tell us important things about the in-breaking of God’s kingdom – in Jesus’s time and ours. Continue reading ‘Pentecost 14 September 6, 2009’

Pentecost 4 June 28, 2009

Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24       

Mark 5:21-43                                                                      

If we were worshiping in the New Bethel Church in Louisville, Kentucky, two weeks ago, we would have heard a sermon on “God, Guns, Gospel and Geometry.”* Inspired by this message, telling us that America was built on God and guns, we might have attended the “open carry” celebration at the church last night, at which everyone was invited to come to church carrying their firearms, enjoy a picnic and participate in the raffle of a handgun—chances $1 each.

Instead, we gathered here at Holy Cross for worship this morning have this story from Mark’s gospel of two healings—two stories really, intertwined together. Continue reading ‘Pentecost 4 June 28, 2009’

Epiphany 5 February 8, 2009

Isaiah 40:21-31                                                                  

1 Corinthians 9:16-23                                                       

Mark 1:29-39

 

 

You and I are sick. We may not realize it, though some do—the lucky ones. We medicate ourselves, trying to cure our sickness, but the medications only make us worse. We end up having to take medicines to treat the side effects of our medicines and then more medicines to treat those medicines. We go through therapies and then more therapies. And we only get sicker. There is another way of talking about this sickness, which is to say that we are possessed: possessed with demons.

 

 

That evening, at sundown, they brought to Jesus all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast our many demons.

 

What is our illness? What demons are we possessed with? Continue reading ‘Epiphany 5 February 8, 2009’