Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Reflection on Mark 8:31-38

Do not get too mad at the disciple Peter.  In a way, he was rebuked for loving Jesus too much. 

Jesus had just declared that he would soon endure great suffering, be rejected by the most important people of the time, be killed, and in three days rise again.  I am quite certain that the hopeful sounding “rise again” part of Jesus’ speech was completely lost on Peter due to the distraction of the ideas of “suffering,” “rejection,” and “death.” 

If you tell anyone that death is waiting just around the upcoming corner, I am certain that all else that is said will fade away into the distance.  Someone who has heard the word "cancer" come out of the doctor's can attest to how all the words of possible treatment fades into a distanced jumble of word salad.

Fearing for Jesus, Peter takes Jesus aside and rebukes him for such talk.  “Why are you talking about death, like it is something that is coming tomorrow?  It doesn’t have to.  These things are not set in stone.  There are ways around it.  Just work with us and we will figure it out together.  We are here for you.  You don’t have to die right now.  You are too important to all of us.  You are too important to me!” I imagine a panicked Peter telling his beloved teacher. 

It is probably what I would have said in any case.  No one wants to believe the worst will come to pass.  No one wants to face death head on.  No one seeks suffering.

Peter is just doing what any of us would do, trying to prevent the worst…trying to defy death.  As I said, do not be so hard on Peter.  In the same way, do not be so hard on that school law enforcement officer who waited out in the parking lot for 4 or 5 minutes during the most recent school shooting in Florida.  I think that it would be unfair to characterize the man (who was an honored officer up to that day) as a coward who did not care about the kids.  No one wants to die.  No one wants to run headlong into the spray of bullets. 

He might have died alongside that coach who appeared to give it a try.  Yes, he would have been honored, like the coach.  But, he might also be dead.

Jesus accuses Peter of setting his mind on human things rather than divine things.  And, Jesus is right, Peter is setting his mind on human concerns...human concerns about his friend.  Peter does not have a special, divine perspective that allows him to even consider the possibility of his friend rising again after death. 

Peter is setting his mind on the human concerns of safety and life. Peter is setting his mind on the human concern of protecting his friend.  Peter is awash in human concern, that is true, but his concern is most likely genuine “concern." 

He is concerned.  He does care.  He wants to preserve life, even if it is a little selfish in a way.  What parent does not want to protect their child?  What friend does not want the best for his or her buddy?  Sure, it could all be seen as a little selfish, but it is still concern.  It is the same concern that all of us “decent” people would have for another person.

You know what is so hard about the divine perspective?  We cannot see it very well. 

Yes, we want to see it, we want to do what is right and good in the eyes of the Lord, but we cannot always see what the divine perspective looks like. 

Unfortunately, we are kind of blind to it because we are stuck in this fleshy material, seeing with fleshy eyes, feeling with fleshy hands, loving with a fleshy heart, and thinking with a fleshy brain.  We are kind of stuck. 

But, what if we could see with divine eyes?  What if we could feel around with a divine hand?  What if we could love with a divine heart and know the truth with a divine brain?  It is possible. 

Jesus says that it is possible, but it probably will not be in the way that you are thinking.  Our flesh will not be transformed into a glowing, divine exterior of greatness anytime soon.  We will still be us, faulty as we are, but the divine will not be far away.  The divine is not hidden.  The divine is not closed off from our world.  The divine walks nearby the disciples.  All they are asked to do is follow.

Jesus literally says to Peter, “Get behind me Satan.” 

I am going to pretty much forget the "Satan" part for right now.   I will only say that Peter’s concern is a distraction to God’s plan.  That is what Satan does (also translated as "the adversary").  The adversary takes our goodness and our concern and bends it is the wrong direction.  That is what is happening to Peter here. 

The part that I do want to focus on is the “get behind me” part. 

Consider the fact that Jesus could have sworn at Peter and told him to just go away.  He does not do that. 

Jesus could have just ignored Peter and let him fade into history…a disciple who was but is no more.  He does not do that. 

Jesus could have opened up the earth and let it swallow the poor disciple whole.  The one who controls the storm and earth could have easily done that.  But, he does not. 

Instead, Jesus tells Peter to get behind him.

Have you ever played follow the leader?  Of course, you have.  The whole object of the game is to do what the leader does and arrive at the destination that the leader desires.  Of course, every classroom has the Peter-like kid that wanders off toward the blocks instead, but that does not change the game.  The game is still to follow the leader and do what the leader does. 

When Jesus tells Peter to get behind him, he is literally telling him to simply follow. 

Peter may not understand what God is up to.  Peter may not know why the suffering must happen.  Peter likely does not comprehend the resurrection and salvation of the entire world lying ahead.  Peter may not have even been able to understand it all it if Jesus chose to sit down and explained it to him for an hour.  Which one of us could stand up and claim to understand the divine mind? 

However, there is one thing that Peter can do, and it is the same thing that you can also do.  Get behind Jesus, do what he does, and follow where he goes.

Distractions will always come.  Worldly concerns will always try to get in the way of your discipleship.  Jesus understands and forgives each time this happens.  You will not be thrown away.  But, after the forgiveness, Jesus also asks that we get behind him.  He is the leader and we follow.  Therefore we do things like studying the scriptures.  Studying his love.  Doing as he has done.  Love as he loved. 

Jesus takes up a cross and puts his life on the line for the sake of others, you do the same.  Be love as Jesus is love. 

Do you know where all of this following is going to end?  No. 

Do you know if your cross bearing and suffering for others will even make a difference in the end?  No. 

But, we do not need to know.  We do not need the divine eyes that can see how it will all turn out in 1 year or even 50 years.  We are not asked to know how it will all end.  All we are asked to do is follow to the end, and Jesus promises that it will lead to resurrection and new life.

“Do not be distracted by human things.  Get behind me,” Jesus says to Peter. 

“Do not be distracted by human things.  Get behind me,” Jesus says to you. 

Follow where Jesus walks.  He always leads to new life.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Reflection on Genesis 9:8-17

It is a little phrase that I have never noticed before. 

I have read or heard some version of the Noah flood story probably over a thousand times throughout my lifetime.  The number of times has significantly increased with the development of children in my life, of course.  It is a favorite story, ranking up there with Zacchaeus and the Loaves and the Fishes because…you know…animals and all.  Actually, those animals have to do with the phrase that I never noticed before.  Want to know what it is?

Before I tell you, a thought about the rainbow for a moment. 

The rainbow is the sign of the promise that God made concerning destroying all life on the earth again.  As long as rainbows continue to appear, we know that God will not send another earth drowning flood.  Rainbows are beautiful and all, but have you ever thought about the fact that each time you see one, God is reminding us, and God is being reminded also, of the promise? 

It is an active promise that has not stopped.  It is an active promise that God has not forgotten.  It is an active promise that each generation of people get to see anew.

It is an active promise that seems to fade with adulthood.  When I was a child and I saw a rainbow, not only did I try to chase it across the fields, attempting to stand in its multicolored glory…which I never accomplished by the way, rainbows are shifty things, never staying put…but when I saw a rainbow I knew that God was talking to me at that very moment.  When a rainbow showed up, I just knew that God was giving me the promise of life and security from destruction at that very moment. 

Do you want God to talk to you directly even in these days and times?  Just go look at a rainbow.  It is an active promise to us even today. 

As a child, I inherently knew it to be an active promise. 

Adulthood and the study of light and prisms and all that, I supposed, tampers down the promise giving wonder of God and rainbows, but they need not.  It still shows up as a promise even now. 

It is a promise from God that never dies or fades.  As Isaiah says: “The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.”

That sort of reminds me of that phrase in the story that I never noticed before. 

I once had a random thought (which as a kid with an active imagination I have always been prone to having), and the thought went something like this: if all people on the earth died from some sort of disease or something like that (not because God wanted us all to perish, but we did anyway), would there still be rainbows? 

It is an interesting random thought for a child, is it not?  If rainbows are a promise for us, then will the promise still shine even after we are gone? 

My answer is: probably, I guess.  Scientifically, prisms will still scatter light, and theologically the word of God…the promises of God…will stand forever, even after we are gone. 

It all has to do with God’s promise to us and does not have anything to do with us accepting it or believing it.  But, beyond that, there is the phrase that jumped out at me while reading the Noah story for the 1561st time that also helped me to answer my own question in a small, but significant way.

It is contained within this sentence of scripture from Genesis: "This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth” (NRSV, Genesis 9:12-13. 

Did anything jump out at you? 

Here is the idea that jumped out at me: not only is the promise of the rainbow intended for every person of every nation and color and persuasion and ideology (it is for all people now and forever), but it is also a promise to the earth, including the animals.  You know, those cute animals that we count two by two and sing about coming off the boat three by three…you know because of being locked up in a boat for 40 days and 40 nights. 

God makes a promise to all living creatures. 

So, to answer my childhood random thought; yes the rainbow will still shine even if humans are gone in the future, because the promise is for all living creatures, not just us.  The gnats and cockroaches will be gazing at the multicolored promise long after any apocalyptic war takes us out. 

God cares for all that God has created.  This should not be an earth-shattering revelation in any way, but in today’s world where desire for more and more overcomes love for others, and greed overcomes care for others, the idea actually is sort of earth-shattering. 

We modern people assume that the earth is a gift for us to use as we wish, but we forget that we were actually created to be gifts for the earth.  We were made to be stewards or caretakers of all to whom that God has made the promise. 

Not only does God not want to lose a single one of us humans, but God also desires to redeem all creation. 

Colossians is clear on this: “Through [Christ] God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.” 

The cross redeems all.  The rainbow too will always shine its active promise to all creation, whether humans are there to see or not.  The promises of God are for all on earth that God loves, not just us humans.

And, that was my revelation after reading this text for well over the thousandth time.  It finally sunk in, like really sunk in, that God values all that God created.  God actually does care for the animals that God saved two by two.  It is not just a cute story.  It is a story of dramatic salvation for the bunnies, mice, and elephants. 

And, the rainbow is a promise that they will not be destroyed by God again because of the carelessness and sinfulness of human beings.  Animals will no longer be a scapegoat for our own sins. 

All creation is loved and valued enough to create an eternal promise that shines on little children running in fields and the deer running in the same field alike.

"This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh…” (NRSV, Genesis 9:12-15a).

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Reflection on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

I would not be so hard on those hypocrites listed in Matthew, because I have been there.  I have been one of those hypocrites. 

You see, people most often assume the worst about people when they do something in a very public way. 

For example, that guy who tries to pray eloquently out loud so that others will be pleased by his words, I am pretty certain that most of us have been that man.  We should not assume that he is so bad. 

I am not saying that all of us have prayed eloquently out loud, but I am saying that most of us are worried about sounding intelligent when asked to pray in front of others.  I do not know of a single person who does not worry a little bit about how they sound when they pray in a group setting. 

I have been in the situation (before I became a pastor and prayer became an expected part of the job description) where I have been asked to pray out loud, but I declined because I was too worried about what I would say and how I would sound.  So, do not be too hard on that guy who is just trying to do it right.

Also, do not be hard on that fasting girl who shares what she is up to with others.  After-all, you are not in your right mind when you are short on calories.  Plus, fasting is a big commitment.  You do kind of want someone to share in the experience, if even a little bit.  She is just trying to do the right thing by fasting for God’s sake.

Now, I can honestly say that I have never blown the trumpet before me as I have proceeded to give my offering in church.  I have rarely given the type of donation that would warrant a trumpet, or even a kazoo.  But, I do remember a time that $5 was what I gave, and it was a huge sacrifice because it could have paid for some needed food.  I did want others to see that I at least put something in the plate.  At least I was trying.

I guess that is my point in all of this; each of these people tried.  They were trying to do the right thing.  They were trying to be good, faithful people.  They were trying to fit in with the norms of the faith community. 

Do not be too hard on them because they are you, and me, and the person next to you.  We have tried over and over again to do it right, but as is often the case, we have somehow missed the mark.

You know what was lost in those times that I was worried what others would think about my prayers or my manner of speaking when delivering a prayer?  The prayer.  The prayer was lost.  The relationship with God was lost.  The conversation with God was lost. 

The whole idea of praying out loud became a wall that separated me from God because I was too worried about doing it right.  It is all the same with the giving and the fasting, we are so often worried about doing it right, doing this faith thing right, that we miss the opportunity to actually have a relationship with God.

What if? 

What if Jesus made it OK to just go to your room and talk to him?  No walls of worry about your public performance.

What if? 

What if Jesus told you that it does not matter what other people think about what you are giving?  What if Jesus just cared about if you show love for others?  Then Jesus would see your heart and your gift.  No walls of community approval needed.

What if? 

What if Jesus simply wants to be close to you when you fast or do some other sort of spiritual discipline?  What if being close to you and showing you grace is all he cares about?  What if your spiritual discipline is not about what you are doing for God, but rather an opportunity for God to do something to you?

You are a child of God through the blood of the cross.  You are a child of God because Jesus wanted to call you a sister or brother. 

You did not have to do anything to earn this inclusion in the holy family and you do not have to prove anything in order to maintain this family inheritance; not to God; not to God’s other faithful people; not to anybody. 

There is no need to prove yourself.  Proving yourself does nothing but build an unneeded wall between you and your relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Imagine that, for one reason or another, you felt you had to prove to the world that you loved your son.  Therefore, you spend all your time buying him the toys, the bikes, and the cars that everyone can see. 

Unfortunately, you are so concerned about proving your love that you actually forget to actually love your son.  You actually forget to spend time with him and show him the ropes of riding a bike in the backyard where he will not be embarrassed when he falls. 

Worrying about what others think is a wall, and it gets in between all that you love and all who love you, including God.

When you choose a spiritual discipline this Lent, one that seeks to bring you closer to God (such as reading the Bible more, attending worship more, fasting and praying, doing spiritual artwork, whatever you choose) feel free not to enter into the Lenten discipline conversation at church or work. 

You do not have to enter into that yearly, predictable conversation that goes, "I'm only two days into Lent and I already ate the chocolate!  Oops!" 

You are free from having that conversation.  You are free from the pressures of the outside world.  You are free to have the most beautiful relationship with Jesus that one could possibly develop, and no one needs to know.  After-all, your spiritual heart is about you and Jesus, and no one else.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Reflection on Mark 9:2-9

Imagine that you are walking through K-Mart, shopping list in hand, looking for a fuse for an old fuse box.  Do they even sell fuses at K-Mart anymore?  You are turning your head looking for the fuse, but what you are actually thinking about are the stresses at work and home. 

Consumed with the stresses, suddenly the floor quakes and the ceiling tiles rain down around your feet.  You look up to see a heavenly ray of light shine down through the roof...of K-Mart...and you here a voice boom through the hole.

“Jesus is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him.” 

Then as quickly as it started, it is all over.  The aisle is suddenly clear of the debris of ceiling tile, but the voice’s words still echo in your head.  Listen to Jesus.  Listen to the beloved.

Why did God do this here?  Why is God do this now?  What does Jesus have to do with the stresses at home and work. 

What if I listened to him? 

What if I truly listened to him as I consider dealing with the stresses?

It happens in other places to other people.  A young man was stopped in the hall at the high school by the falling debris of ceiling tile.  He too was told of Jesus the Beloved.  He too was told to listen to Jesus. 

It is kind of strange.  The kid was not the religious type.  You never would have pegged him for a divine message.  Yet, he got one.  His life, strangely, seems to have changed.  He seems, I do not know, a little more focused on life you could say.

The smile on her face was all you needed to see to know that it happened to her.  She had been sitting on her walker in the elevator when the elevator suddenly stopped, the tile came down, and light poured down the elevator shaft. 

She had been slowly working her way to lunch in the personal care home.  Her table mates were not looking forward to her arrival. 

“I don’t think the woman has ever had a positive thing to say during dinner,” one of her table mates quipped during her brief absence. 

But when she finally arrived at the table, she smiled.  Her table mates did not think the frown lines in her face would even allow a smile, yet there it was.

It was as if something changed in her.  It was as if God had moved some mountain of sadness or anger or something from in front of her life.  It was as if she had stopped complaining and started listening to God.

An encounter with the divine changes you.  Every year orthodox Jews set up tents (the Festival of Booths) to remember the days that their ancestors wandered in the wilderness.  But, they also do it so that they can intentionally listen for God’s direction and God’s voice.  While living in the tents during this festival, they wait for the voice.  They pray for the guidance.  They hope for the change.

When the divine tears through the atmosphere on that beautiful day with Jesus on the mountain, Peter offers to pitch those tents of listening for everyone on the mountain.  Perhaps, God was about to speak? 

Little did Peter know, God would not wait for the tents to be pitched.  Clouds gather over Jesus whose drab and dusty long shirt had been morphed before their eyes into a sight of true divine white and light.  Words rain down from the gathered clouds: “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him.” 

Those who climbed the mountain with Jesus are changed. 

It is not that they failed to hear Jesus' voice before.  He taught all the time, and they even followed him up the mountain when he told them they were going for a hike.  But, there is a difference in hearing Jesus and listening to Jesus.

Listening has to do with trust.  Listening has to do with investment.  Listening has to do with following, even when you do not know the outcome.  Listening has to do with your life being transformed from one where you do everything the way you have always done it (where you react the way you always react) to a life that is shaped by Jesus and all that Jesus cares about. 

The teen who usually walks around the skirmish in the hall suddenly sees the weak getting kicked by the bully and steps in front of the punch. 

The father who usually avoids those who get on his nerves, including his family, steps from the sanctuary of his garage and actually asks his son how his day was with a basketball in his hand. 

The lady who only sees the worst in people looks out her window and actually sees, as if for the first time, the joy on the faces of the kids playing across the street.  She wonders if they would like a soda to drink.

In all of these ways, big and small, the voice of God breaking into our world changes us. 

The command to listen to Jesus finally gives us direction and hope, where we previously had none. 

In addition, the hope of the resurrection, the promise that darkness and death will not have the last word, gives us the strength to reach beyond what we know and what we expect, and try something new under the guidance of Jesus. 

Maybe, forgiveness instead of building a wall is a better option.  How do you know unless you listen and then try it? 

Maybe, caring for the sinner instead of chiding them can change a life.  How do you know unless you listen and try it? 

Maybe, touching the untouchable, talking to the un-talkable, and seeking the lost cause will change their lives?  Maybe, it will change our life. 

You do not have to wait for the ceiling tiles to rain down on you at work or while you watch television at home in order to get this revelation.  You have already heard the story of the atmosphere being torn into two so that the voice of God might come down and change your life. 

“This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him.” 

The revelation is for you.  The words are intended for you.  Do not just go to church, sit as you always have, and hear the words spoken.  Rather, listen to the words.  Let them enter your soul as you walk from your place of worship. 

Let them interrupt you as you go to lunch. 

Let them interrupt you at work, or school, or while doing chores. 

Let them disturb you as you contemplate your next move. 

Let them transform you from who you are now to who God wants you to be. 

In other words, let Jesus guide you in all that you do and say.  He is, after-all, the one who can change your darkness into light.  He is, after-all, the one who can change the evening of death on the cross into a resurrection in the morning.  If he is the one who can do all that, why would you listen and trust in anyone else?

“This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him.”  In all that you do, take time to listen to Jesus.  It will change everything.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Reflection on Mark 1:29-39

One detail from this healing story in Mark rubbed me the wrong way upon first reading: “she began to serve them.” 

After Jesus heals Simon’s mother-in-law from a fever, the story says that “she began to serve them.” 

I do not know about you, but in a week of revelations of abuse and horror coming from the mouths of women who are courageously speaking up in the #metoo movement, and during a week where a nationally known pastor declared that women should not be preaching or teaching, but should rather keep in their places of learning and serving, this image of a woman snapping to it after she is healed in order to serve men seems not only insensitive, but also archaic. 

And, I would be right in allowing this image to rub me the wrong way.  After-all, it goes against so many other images and messages from the Bible that show women in a positive light. 

It is the women who stick with Jesus through the end of his life; through the cross.  All the men run away. 

It is a woman who has a deep theological discussion with Jesus at the well.  She discusses the depths of God as freely as any man of her time. 

And, of course, we cannot forget that it is a woman, Mary Magdalene, who is the very first evangelist after the resurrection. 

In Jesus’ world, women are not second rate citizens.  In Jesus’ world, women are not slaves or objects to serve men’s desires.  In Jesus’ world, there is neither male nor female, slave nor free. 

We are all equal in God’s sight according to the Bible.  We are all equipped by the Holy Spirit for the work of ministry according to the Holy Scriptures. 

So I guess if Simon’s mother-in-law is healed to serve anyone, it would be to serve Jesus in the exact same way that all of us followers are drawn to serve Jesus.

Maybe, we are on to something there with that thought.  After-all, Simon’s mother-in-law is not the only person to react with faith after healing.  The gospel of Mark is full of people, men and women, who run and tell of the wonders of God after being healed by Jesus.  It is full of people who get up and follow Jesus after their ills have been attended to.  In other words, it is full of people who “serve” Jesus after they have been made whole by his touch. 

Serving Jesus appears to be the natural reaction that a person has when healed by Jesus.  Somehow, when we encounter the healing hands of our savior, we are immediately drawn to serve in the same way that we have been served.  It is as if being healed and serving Jesus are inextricably linked together. 

Listen to what Jesus has to say in Mark 10:45: “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” 

Somehow, in some way, being a part of Jesus’ kingdom means we serve others.  It means we sacrifice some of our time and love for the sake of someone who may not deserve such attention and affection. 

Perhaps, that is why God made it feel good?  Have you ever noticed how good you feel after helping someone else?  It just feels good and right to help others. 

That good feeling gets a bad rap sometimes.  People will accuse do-gooders of doing their good deed only so that they can get that good feeling high. 

“You should to right and good, because it is the right and good thing to do, not because you get some high from doing it,” they would claim. 

Though I do not disagree that we should do right and good at all times, even during the times that it does not give us the warm fuzzies, I disagree that we should feel bad about enjoying serving our neighbor. 

Love feels good.  That is just the way God made it. 

God created love to feel, well, loving.  And, when we are serving and loving, and feels like it is good and right, then we can know that it is indeed good and right because it feels as if it is in line with the goodness of Jesus’ kingdom. 

Love feels like love, and we should in no way feel ashamed about serving God in loving ways.

In fact, it is when we are not serving others that we should start to worry.  The scriptures lead me to think that a lack of serving others, that a lack of loving others through our actions, is actually the symptom that indicates that we are in need of healing. 

Just think about when you have the flu.  Unfortunately, I can speak from very recent experience here.  When you have that fever of over 104 degrees, for five days straight, there is little that your body wants to do.  No matter how much you want to do the chores around the house, the minute you resolve to move around, your muscles become stubbornly weak and your lungs start to strain over the simplest of exertions.  The obvious lack of serving others when you have the flu will automatically lead a doctor to believe that you need to be healed of the flu. 

Other spiritual ailments are no different.  When you have lacked the energy to serve others, do you remember what has caused the problem? 

Sometimes grief will keep us from doing the goodness that we have always done.  It is not uncommon for those suffering the loss of a loved one or the loss of a career to withdraw and not care as they normally would. 

Sometimes our sin and subsequent guilt will keep us from serving as we should.  I once knew of a young man who stopped coming to church the day that his girlfriend moved in with him.  He felt so guilty that he was not living as he thought that he should that he could not bear to show his face to others in the faith. 

Anger at others can do it.  Sometimes our anger and hatred can get in the way of showing love. 

Still, for others, it is some wrong done to them, some violation of body or soul, that has left them too hurt and too vulnerable to reach out to others in love.  Caring can become too vulnerable of a position in life for those who have been abused.

I do not need to go on.  You get the idea.  When someone ceases to serve it is a clear sign that they need to be healed and made whole once again.  Lack of service is the dark spot of cancer that signals a problem that needs healing.

So, I truly want to ask: how are you doing? 

What are your symptoms saying to you? 

Do you need to be healed? 

Do you need to be made whole? 

Is there anything keeping you from being the one that God made you to be? 

Is there an illness that needs to be cleared? 

Is there a sin that needs to be forgiven? 

Is there a wall that needs to be torn down? 

Is there a hurt that needs to be mended? 

Then come to Jesus, and find your healing.  Those who seek the touch of Jesus find their healing.  Come and be made whole once again.  Come and let Jesus put things right once again.  Come and be healed in the name of Jesus Christ. 

Come to Jesus, be made whole, and then go as the child of God that your were created to be. 

Come to Jesus, be healed, and go serve.

Here is a prayer for you:
Jesus healer of our every ill,
Fill you with love,
Mend you with mercy,
And grant you peace.
You are God’s child,
now and always.