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February 2012

Healing Everything

For the Seventh Sunday after Epiphany

From “Sitting on the Rainbow”

Scripture Reference: Mark 2:1-12

Preparation: Bring several bottles of medicine, including a bottle of cough syrup.

If you couldn’t get to sleep because you were coughing so much and coughing so hard that your throat was getting sore, what might your mom or dad do to help you? (Let children respond.) They might give you cough syrup to calm down the cough so you could sleep. (Show cough syrup.) That’s what this medicine is used for—to calm coughs. Of course, you would drink this only if a doctor or a parent gave it to you. You have to be very careful with medicine!

I have some other medicines with me. They are all meant to take care of one thing or another: headaches, allergies, upset stomach. I can’t find a medicine for one thing, though. What if I had a friend who was lying in bed and couldn’t move—someone who was paralyzed? Is there a pill that could make the person get up and walk again? (Children may respond.) I have wished many times that there was, but a medicine like that does not exist. Maybe someday, but not yet.

Just like nowadays, there was no medicine for paralyzed people back when Jesus was teaching and healing here on earth. One day when Jesus was preaching in a very crowded house, some men opened a hole in the roof above him. Through that hole, they lowered a paralyzed man until he was lying right in front of Jesus. This man’s friends couldn’t get through the crowd to take him to Jesus, so they went to the roof and used ropes to lower their friend to Jesus. These friends knew that Jesus was the only one in the world who could heal the man.

Jesus did heal their friend, but do you know what he said first? He said, “My son, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5 nlt). Many people thought that was a strange thing to say and a strange way to heal someone. But what do you think is more important to God—the health of our bodies or the health of our souls? Can you be close to God if your body is healthy but there is hatred and sin in your heart? No! Can you be close to God if your body doesn’t work the way it should, but your heart is full of joy and love for Jesus? Yes! Jesus was healing the inside before healing the outside.

Does Jesus always heal our bodies? We may have to wait until we get to heaven before some sicknesses are healed. But will Jesus always forgive us and heal us on the inside? Yes! Always! Jesus forgives our sins and heals our hearts so that we can be close to God. That’s the best medicine there is.

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, thank you for healing our hearts. We pray that you would make us healthy on the inside, and we also ask for health and healing for our bodies.

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