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Praying for Healing of Fear on Good Friday

March 25, 2016

Three years ago, I posted reflections on praying for healing during Holy Week. They seem very pertinent today amidst the escalation of fear and anxiety in our world. Somehow, the life and world transforming power of Jesus’ death and resurrection seems suppressed by and even subordinated to the assault of enmity and collapse of old structures of order and safety that plague our society and world. The voices of fear-mongers and enmity-provokers seem louder than the voices of God’s faithfulness and love.

Yet we know that by Jesus’ wounds we are healed. He took upon himself who we are, so that we can share in who he is. He took our fear to give us his trustworthy love; our loneliness for his communion; our anxiety for his peace; our humiliation for his humility; our brokenness for his wholeness.So we do indeed pray for healing of the wounds of our hearts, families, communities, and world this Holy Week.

Here’s what I wrote three years ago: “This Holy Week I’m reflecting on the wonder of Christ’s healing life. For how much healing dare we pray, dare we hope? This week points us to the healing of our wounded souls, hearts, homes, neighborhoods and world. “By his wounds we are healed”  (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).

Yet so much feels so unhealed. We know some wounds in our hearts, bodies and world only heaven will heal. So for how much healing today dare we hope? Jesus calls us to pray for heaven to invade earth now: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done–on earth as it is in heaven”. We live in eager anticipation of the day when all nations will walk by the light of the Lamb (Revelation 21:23-24). Planted beside the river of life that flows from the throne of the Lamb are the trees of life. “The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (22:2). 

In the midst of our wounds, we live and pray for healing with confidence and eager anticipation.

Anglican Bishop Stephen Neill summarizes the confidence in which the Christian movement has engaged the world, saying, “In Jesus, the one thing that needed to happen has happened in such a way that it need never happen again in the same way. The universe has been reconciled to its God…For the human sickness there is one specific remedy, and this is it. There is no other.”[i]

The gospel audaciously proclaims that the Holy God became embodied on our planet and lived a perfect human life on our behalf. In his human flesh Jesus defeated all personal, social and demonic darkness. He bore all sin and evil. He carried the full consequences of this into death and life eternal.

Jesus bore our brokenness so we could receive the gift of his wholeness. He became what we are, sinful and broken, so that we could become what he is, holy and glorious.


[i] Stephen Neill, The Christian Faith and Other Faiths (Oxford University Press, 1970) p. 17.

This Holy Week, may we taste–and offer to others–some appetizers made from those healing leaves. Our hope is based in the conviction that the Spirit isn’t merely offering appetizers–but banquets. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done–on earth–now–as it is in heaven!”

 

2 Comments
  1. Tali H. permalink

    Still true! Still necessary to hear.

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