Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Let the weak say I am strong…
“The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up…” (v. 15a)
The book of James is an important text relating to the topic of healing. Wholeness and healing James talks in this text should be read in their fullest sense. Here he describes the potential harmony of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of a person. James is not only offering hope for those in his community who are physically ill but also for those who find themselves marginalised as a result of other forms of weakness.
Defining sickness and healing
The term "sick" (5:14) is a translation of astheneö. In its wider understanding the term means, spiritual weakness, emotional weariness, fear, economic weakness, sense of rejection, powerlessness and anxiety / demoralisation. The opposite of sickness also has wider meaning like save, raise, heal, preserve from danger, rescue and protect etc. In this text James exhorts his community in Christ we have a holistic restoration and empowerment.
Healing and Community of Faith/ Church
Exhortation given by James is for a community and it means that a community of faith has a vital role in the process of holistic healing of the individuals. This holistic healing brings not only physical and mental healing but also brings the marginalised in to the God’s Kingdom. Healing process has various elements.
Prayer and healing
James exhorts the very basic relationship between prayer and healing. Even in Jesus’ healing ministries we could fine people come with a prayer goes back with healing. Role of the prayer is vital in the ministry of healing.
Role of the sacraments
In this text, there are two sacraments mentioned in the process of healing, one, Confession and two, anointing with oil. A) Confession- Mutual reconciliation through the process of confession and forgiveness, community and the weak/ sick will experience the healing as it brings back the harmony within oneself, others and ultimately to the Church. B). Anointing with oil - Jesus did not anoint people with oil, though he recommended that his disciples do so (Mark 6:13). James exhorts them that let the weak/sick experience God’s grace through the anointing the oil. Through this sacrament weak/sick undergo the process of healing touch (personal interaction, emotional sharing, and mutual understanding).
Jesus the Divine Healer
Jesus’ healing touch through the Body of Christ (Church) is affirmed in this text. The divine healer calls the church to be the agent of healing in the midst of suffering, sickness, and marginalised situations of the weak.
Prayer: Jesus, our healer, restores and raises us from the all kinds of sickness and weakness. Amen
Rev. Sajeev Thomas, St.James MTC, London