Lent: All Will Be Well
“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well…for there is a Force of love moving through the universe that holds us fast and will never let us go.” – Julian of Norwich
Bless the Lord, O my soul…who forgives all your sin and heals all your diseases. (Psalm 103:1-3); two things or one thing?To the paralytic, whose friends had brought him for healing, (Mark 2:1-2), Jesus said, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” The response brought controversy and confusion until Jesus said, “Stand up and go home.” Two things or one thing? Jesus told people, “Your faith has saved you” or “made you well.” In the Greek, he said just one thing: “Your faith has sōzōed; “ sōzō: to save, rescue, deliver, liberate, bring to salvation, restore to health, heal, cure; all of the above, everything that is included in coming to new life in Jesus Christ. Through faith, we can be healed, even if we are not cured.
Forgiveness and healing are NOT linked in the Bible to make us think our illnesses are punishment for sin. Sometimes we get sick with no cause. They are linked because sickness and sin together define everything that has gone wrong; the whole mess that God comes to re-create. Human choices do have consequences—big and little, direct and indirect, fair and unfair, personal and environmental. Yet, God is out to reverse those effects for individual people, for nations and communities, for all creation. That is healing. That is the Christian gospel.
Jesus heals because the kingdom of God is in him. Death, demons, and disease know who Jesus is and flee at his arrival. The entry of Jesus is like turning on a light in a cockroach-infested kitchen. The bugs are out of here! So are the demons, and so is disease. When God shows up in our lives and in our world there are consequences. Some things need to go, but thankfully, life and wholeness stay.
God does not promise protection from all harm, since not even the Son of God was safe from all harm. God does not promise freedom from viruses and violence, since not even Jesus was protected from such terrors.
Our faith promises that God enters our life, sharing and bearing in Jesus Christ every illness, every disease, and the consequence of every sin. When the Risen Jesus forgives and heals us, he still has scars on his hands and feet. In the wounded Christ, no longer is the greatest good to be preserved from pain and suffering, but rather, to enter into the lives of others, even with our own unhealed wounds and tender scars. Healing in Jesus Christ is always in the shape of the cross.
Adapted from Fred Gaiser, Professor Emeritus, Luther Seminary
Adult Education: Three Opportunities
- Wednesdays 7:00-8:00 p.m., “All Will Be Well” Topics, starts March 8 (see below)
- Sundays: ELCA Social Statement on Health 10:10-10:45 a.m. starts March 5. (copies in Hemgren room or CLICK HERE to view/download)
- Anytime, On-line, at Home, “All Will Be Well” Topics (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to join the on-line classes)
Family Friendly Home Devotions: CLICK HERE to view/download