Hubert Humphrey, while hospitalized for the bladder cancer that ultimately claimed his life, reported in 1978 that for him it was “a spiritual experience” to receive word that congregations in churches and synagogues all over the world were praying for him: “I want to tell you, my friend, I could feel it, actually feel it. It came to me with a great surge of healing. I could feel it in my body, the warmth, the friendship, the prayers. It was really like a healing balm. I know it sounds almost irrational. I can't explain it, but I know something was happening to me and I was getting strength from it.”
– June Bingham and Norman Tamarkin, M.D., The Pursuit of Health
Every week during our worship service we pray for others, but sometimes we need to be prayed for ourselves. We need to hear our names called, to feel that healing balm, to gain strength from the touch and prayers of others. That's why this Sunday's service will be a healing service.
The book of James says "if anyone is sick, call the elders and pray for that person, and anoint that person with oil, in the name of the Lord." (James 5:14) Sickness as we know comes in many forms – spiritual, physical and emotional. Some of us need healing from broken relationships; some need healing from psychological distress; some need the gift of physical healing. None of us is exempt from needing God's healing presence in our lives.
This Sunday, October 18, is known as the Feast of St. Luke, the day the church commemorates the writer of the gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts who is remembered as a physician. What a perfect day for a healing service. All those who wish to come forward for prayers and the laying on of hands and/or anointing with oil are welcomed. All are welcome to come and join in the singing and be fed with the Word and Meal, which bring their own healing - bringing with them as they do the power and presence of Christ, the Healer.
– Pastor Dianne