|Ministry Musings are also included on the latest pewsheet|
Ministry Musings – June 2018
The question on many people’s lips over the past couple of weeks has been “Did you watch the Royal Wedding?” It seems the whole world was agog at the marriage of two very special people, Harry and Meghan, who had fallen in love and invited millions across the world to share their day.
During the service, Bishop Michael Curry, the head of the Episcopal Church in America, gave a riveting message on ‘the power of redemptive love’, sparking an amazing response from thousands of people across the world.
Even a well known ex-leader of one of the main political parties, an avowed atheist, tweeted “Bishop Michael Curry could almost persuade me to become a Christian!”
The power of redemptive love is strong – stronger than life or death. The passionate love of God towards the human race is a life changer.
This powerful love displayed through Jesus Christ, his death on the cross in mankind’s place, and his resurrection, has destroyed the power of evil and death. It has the amazing power to change people’s lives and ultimately change the world.
But do we want it to? God, in his grace, has given us the choice.
God wants to give us His power, so that in His name, we can be enabled to reach out to a needy world with His love.
As we look around, we see suffering, pain and hurts in the lives of many people; many who need a miracle of emotional, physical or spiritual healing that can only come from God. This God of love can heal the pain of rejection, abuse, and torment.
There is healing in the name of Jesus. His love and compassion can fill our hearts, giving courage and strength to reach out to others with His healing balm.
We don’t have to be particularly gifted with words.
God simply wants us to have willing hearts that respond by saying “Use me, Lord, to introduce others to you, in any way you see fit”.
Bishop Curry quoted that lovely old African/American spiritual song:-
There is a balm in Gilead,
The balm in Gilead, referred to in Jeremiah, in the Old Testament, was the very rare and expensive oily aromatic resin that exuded from trees and shrubs in hot desert countries. It was believed to have healing properties, but only the very rich could afford to have it.
In chapter 8 : 22, Jeremiah wept for the spiritual brokenness of the wounded Jewish people. He could see their hurt, frustrations and fear. But he could also see the lack of caring, by both political and religious leaders.
He pleaded with them and with the people to turn to God for guidance and help, but they refused to listen to him.
So he used a picture of the balm as the spiritual healing balm which can only come from God.
“Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?” He wanted them to see there is spiritual balm available from God if they were willing to accept it.
The song writer used Jeremiah’s words to relate to people the amazing healing power there is in Jesus. He is the balm in Gilead.
His balm can heal nations; it can heal relationships; it can transform the world and it can transform us.
Yes, there is balm in Gilead - and its there waiting for each one of us to receive.