A. Thomas Youth
Chaplain, Southwest Region
7 The sick man answered
him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is
stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down
ahead of me.”
The reality of every
human being is that we are stirred by the reality of our own
brokenness. In Psalms 34:18 we are reminded that the Lord is
near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in
spirit. Wholeness is an experience that emerges from the
mysterious union of our finite human predicament with the eternal
possibilities of God. When the pool of secular waters is
stirred by the power of the Holy Spirit, sacred healing unfolds in
way that transcends the barriers and boundaries of life.
In John chapters 2-11
we observe the manifestation of Jesus' ministry to those who are
broken. We come across a number of signs and conversations in
which Jesus empowers people to overcome barriers to holistic
living. Bringing wholeness to sinners and healing to the sick
was the mission of Jesus, and it is should be the vision of the
church today (Mark 2:17).
At the Annual Feast in Jerusalem, Jesus
reveals his authority to forgive sins and his power to heal.
Like the sick man by the Pool of Bethesda, we are all desparate to
experience healing and wholeness. Noteworthy is the fact that
the word Bethesda is derived from the Aramaic 'beth hesda' which
means "house of mercy". The sick man's complaint to
Jesus was - “Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody
to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is
already in.” (John 5:7) The church is supposed to be a house
of mercy, yet many of our members have no one to help them
experience healing and wholeness. We have failed to stirr the
waters for fear of worldly consequences.
In a place of disgrace, where people are
hurting and abandoned by the world, the church must encounter God's
people and extend grace.
Are there members of our worshipping
community that have been absent from church for many years?
Clergy and laity together must make a way for them to enter the
pool and experience healing and wholeness in Jesus Christ.
Maybe you are already in the church, and
still find that you are broken. Are you waiting for someone
to stirr the waters, and bring change to church? If so, what
are you waiting for? The great Mahatma Gandhi once said -
"Be the change you want to see in others." Stop
waiting for someone else to bring about healing and wholeness in
the church. Start engaging the the issues at hand and become
an agent in the healing process.
Lord Jesus, we pray that
you stir the waters of your church so that your people may experience
healing and wholeness.Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Healing and wholeness can be
experienced only after our faith is stirred by the Holy Spirit.
Community Formation Around
Resurrection ExperienceActs 23:1-10 Vinod JohnsonCarmel MTC, Boston,
MA6 When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others
were Pharisees, he called out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son
of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the
Sometimes, the only thing that keeps you going through a brutal winter is
the hope for the spring. It may have been a hard hope to hold on to this
particular year in New England - a year in which Boston considered dumping not
tea, but the ever growing mounds of snow into its harbor. And yet, the waist
deep snow has dissolved away. White desolation has given way to increasingly
visible green shoots of spring. A resurrection is at hand!
this passage, Paul tries to defend himself before the Sanhedrin Council. He
seeks to drive a wedge between the Pharisees who believed in resurrection and
the Sadducees who did not; even though neither believed in the resurrection of
Revelation for LiberationActs 27:18-26 Sherine ThomasLong Island MTC, NY 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small
tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.
“After winter comes the summer. After night comes the dawn.
And after every storm, there comes clear open skies” so said a Scottish
clergyman from the 1600s. It’s been said, that hope can sometimes be the most
dangerous weapon. However, it’s sometimes the hardest weapon to carry
when you’re living with the loss of a loved one, something that almost feels
like a terrible nightmare that’ll never go away. It’s a weapon difficult
to carry when day in and day out no one seems to hear or see those tears that
are shed or silent cries that are made during a heartfelt prayer. It’s a
weapon difficult to carry as you see your loved one lying on that hospital bed.
It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you search and seek out answers to
tell a child as to why they’ve been abused, abandoned, and …
Exodus 40:12-16 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of
Meeting... wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments,
anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest (Exodus 40: 12-13). Priesthood
among the people of God was a divine command and initiation. God wanted some
people to be separated for the special ministry among his people. God appointed
Aaron and his descendants to take up this kind of ministry among the people of
God. Priests are always separated and appointed as channels that connect God
with his people. All throughout the history of Israel, priests played an
important role in connecting people with God and to lead and guide them in the
statutes of God. But there are incidents in the Bible where the priests failed
in their duties and that led the people to go away from God. So the priests
have a special and significant ministry to perform in this world among his
people. Two important things from thi…