Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 20, 1998
|Even with a balm and a physician, there is no healing for a people turned
away from God
Oppression of the powerless is remembered by God
|262: Heal Me, Hands of Jesus
266: Heal Us, Emmanuel, Hear Our Prayer
357: Just as I Am, Without One Plea
393: Spirit of the Living God
|A repentant people calls to the Lord for help
Praise the Lord!
|355: Depth of Mercy
430: O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee
|Luke 16:1-13||Be trustworthy in all things, small and great||147: All Things Bright and
384: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
|1 Timothy 2:1-7||Don't just pray for your leaders--give thanks for them!||428: For the Healing of the Nations|
What was that title? Healing of the nations? Isn't that bringing concepts of church and state together? Maybe. But this is not a political page, and I will take no political position in it. However, I could not help being struck by the appropriateness of this week's lectionary scriptures in light of current events in the United States. Embassies abroad have been bombed. The nation's leader is under great pressure on account of personal conduct which was admittedly wrong. An air raid was made on terrorist training facilities in Afghanistan. An airline crashed into the ocean near Halifax. What does the Word have to say to us this week? Praise God in all things. Give thanks for your leaders. Be trustworthy. When there is crisis, a nation turned away from God can have no healing, but a nation turned toward God will repent and call to the Lord for help.
These words are so relevant to us today! From the Psalmist, to the words of the Hebrew prophets, to Christ, and again in the epistles, every single passage is relevant to us. The nations are in desperate need of healing. Indeed, the world is in need of healing. And God's timely instructions for getting onto the path of healing have been waiting for us for thousands of years.
Another passage in Revelation 22:1-5 paints a wonderful picture of "the great city," and describes the tree of life whose leaves are "for the healing of the nations." In God's kingdom, all nations have turned to Him. All are praising and worshipping Him. All are healed. Let us all pray for our leaders; let us thirst for the waters of life; let us seek shelter and peace in the shade of the tree whose leaves can heal the nations.
The words to this week's featured hymn are subject to restrictions under copyright law. They were written by Fred Kaan, whose work also appears in The United Methodist Hymnal at Hymn 313: Cristo Vive (Christ Is Risen), Hymn 508: Faith, While Trees Are Still in Blossom, Hymn 560: Help Us Accept Each Other, Hymn 634: Now Let Us from This Table Rise, Hymn 257: We Meet You, O Christ, Hymn 439: We Utter Our Cry, and Hymn 120: Your Love, O God.
The tune, written by John Hughes, is familiar to many as the melody of "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah," or "God of Grace and God of Glory."
God bless you--
|Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.|