RESURRECTION FREEDOM! FREEDOM TO HEAL: The Three R s of. Healing. When given this assignment, a part of the Resurrection Freedom Series,

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1 RESURRECTION FREEDOM! FREEDOM TO HEAL: The Three R s of Healing When given this assignment, a part of the Resurrection Freedom Series, the scripture text from the Gospel of John directs us to Resurrection Freedom! the Freedom to Heal, because at this point in John s Gospel, Jesus has met a Woman at the Well and has offered her Living Water, water that anyone who drinks of it shall never thirst again. An official on the road to Cana has asked Jesus to heal his son laying in Capernaum and it is done the boy is healed in capernaum at the time his father was speaking to Jesus on the road to Cana. Now in our scripture text for today taken from the gospel of John 5:1-9a says 5 After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha,which has five porticoes. 3 In these lay many invalids blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5 One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there 1

2 a long time, he said to him, Do you want to be made well? 7 The sick man answered him, Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me. 8 Jesus said to him, Stand up, take your mat and walk. 9 At once the man was made well. This is the Word of the Lord I have had the opportunity to mull and pray over this text asking God what is it I am to say to your people because you see there is a lot that can be brought to the forefront the setting of this place a pool called Bethesda by the Sheep Gate, with five porticoes, a pool where the water some say is sometimes stirred up by angels and the first to get to it is healed of their condition. We can speak of the number of years the man has been laying by the pool and we can also highlight the fact that there are hundreds of other people laying by the pool waiting for a fleeting moment so they too can be healed hundred of other invalids. No specific conditions are given just that the people there by the pool are blind, lame and paralyzed. In our scripture text for today in the midst of this scene Jesus simply walks up to the man and ask, Do you want to be made well? 2

3 Jesus asks each of us even today Do you want to be made well? At the same time there is this one man beside the pool at Bethesda, there are also hundreds of other people laying by the pool hundreds of us. We are all people who can at times be counted among those who are blind, lame and paralyzed. Are we not also at times people who are blind to the possibilities of a whole life in God? Are we not also at times people who are lame, unable or unwilling to move past certain situations and events in our lives? Are we not at times people who are paralyzed in the present by past issues of abandonment and abuse; sometimes masking our hurts and griefs by self-medicating with alcohol, and drugs are we not at times just like those laying by the pool not living into our full potential in God? And I say again, Jesus asks each of us Do we want to be made well? When asking this Jesus could be asking Do you want to recover your sight to the possibilities of a whole life in the grace and mercy of God? Do you want to be able to use all of your faculties your mind, your body, and your spirit so that life has meaning again? Do you want to be able to move forward in life guided by the promises of God? Jesus said, Get up, take your bedroll, start walking. For many of us caught in the throes of grief, despair and loneliness our answer would 3

4 be there is no one to take me to the waters but I tell you resurrection healing does just that. When I continued to ask, What am I to say Lord? ; the Three R s of Healing came to me RELAX RELATE RELEASE. RELAX yourself into the Word of God. Jesus was not frantic as he moved about healing, performing miracles, exorcising demon. Jesus did not fret as we tend to do. When faced with situations in life, sometimes issues from the past, we tend to keep these things hidden, secretly fretting that someone will discover or disclose our darkest secrets RELAX! Otherwise we blind ourselves to the grace and mercy God promises us. RELAX I the promise of GOD S forgiveness RELAX IN the promised fulfilled in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus lived life according to God s promises relaxing himself in the promise God extends to all of us. So let us learn to take a deep breathe exhale and RELAX. Then we are to RELATE to Jesus. RELATE to the words Jesus gave his disciples; words Jesus gives to us as disciples today. Jesus said, "Blessed 4

5 are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted. RELATE to these words when we too are poor in spirit. RELATE to these words when we grieve and mourn. RELATE to Jesus actions Jesus prayed! Jesus prayed almost at the drop of a hat. Consider this; Jesus was in a desert situation in His life, alone with very little to sustain him and he prayed. Jesus was on water with storms raging around him. Imagine the height of the waves, the boat pitching back and forth and the cold. Jesus prayed. There was a time when Jesus was also in a garden. He could look around and see the beauty of plants, fruit trees, and the brilliant colors of flowers. However while surrounded by the beauty of creation, Jesus was experiencing a time of darkness and despair even so he prayed. Jesus was on the cross yet and still he prayed. Let us RELATE ourselves, RELATE our situations, our desert experiences when loneliness can tempt us to defy God s words of love and forgiveness and pray. In the midst of life s storms, when we feel we are drowning in grief, from the loss of a loved one, or when darkness and despair dogs our footsteps even in the brightness of the sun, in the brightness of life still to live let us too pray. REATE to Jesus s example, when it is said, He went a little beyond 5

6 (the disciples), (and) Jesus threw himself on the ground and prayed, Saying Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want. RELATE to Jesus and pray. Then we must learn to RELEASE ourselves into the promise of life God gives us. RELEASE ourselves to the words of God s promises in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. RELEASE ourselves of fears, griefs and despairs utilizing the examples and life Jesus of Nazareth who IS our Christ. Let us RELEASE ourselves to the Holy Spirit working in us bringing us peace, comfort strength, and joy. Jesus says to us even today get up take your fears, your griefs, your darkness, and your despair your blinding, crippling, paralyzing issues; issues that we have with ourselves, these issues that we have with others take up these mats and walk. Walk in full faith, knowledge, belief and assurance that God is with us at all times, even in the midst of grief, in depths of despair, throes of loneliness, all the issues that makes us emotional and spiritual invalids. Some of us having been laying by a pool for thirty-eight years or more lamenting because we say there is no one to get us to the Water. We do 6

7 not have to wait for fleeting moments when waters are stirred for our healing we have RESURRECTION FREEDOM TO HEAL. I stand before you today proclaiming there is Resurrection Healing from our griefs, our despair, our darkness, and our fears, healing that comes to us through Resurrection Healing when we learn to RELAX, RELATE, RELEASE ourselves in Jesus, and in the Word of God. It comes when we RELAX RELATE RELEASE our lives into the Resurrection Freedom of the Resurrected Christ. Yes, indeed we have Resurrection Freedom, Resurrection Healing, when we embrace the Three R's of Healing RELAX RELATE RELEASE. We Have Resurrection Healing! in the One, the Risen Christ who asks us today Do you want to be made well? PRAYER Lord God we thank you for grace, mercy and your healing love. Indeed let our hearts and spirits leap for joy with the promise of healing the promise of a whole life you. Just as there is a Balm of Gilead, we ask that you Lord 7

8 God sooth our wounds and our hurts from the past whether it be yesterday or yesteryear. Open our minds, hearts and spirit, us so that when Jesus again asks, Do you want to be healed? ; we know to take up our issues and walk in the Lord. Amen/Ashe. Joslyn E. Shipman April 26,

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