1 Corinthians 9:16-23
“Healer of our every ill”
Grace and Peace to you my brothers and sisters in Christ, Amen.
By now many of you may have come to realize that this world we live in is full of pain, it is not an easy life. We walk about and witness or experience loss, fear, distress, betrayal, lies, despair. We walk around and witness or have experienced war, split families, destruction, loss of freedoms, unjust punishment. We walk around and witness or have experienced injury, loss of limb, sickness, memory loss, failing body parts, aches, and eventually death. In such a world, hope may seem fleeting, and others may warn you not to give in to hope because all that will do is lead to a much harsher fall into depression. Many have given up. Many have chosen to join the pain and contribute to it. Others try to find meaning in this world and are lead to false idols and false prophets.
Just the process of aging should be a clear indicator that life is not fair, and full of pain. As wisdom increase, the body starts to deteriorate and fall apart on you. Things stop working, strength fails, and the dust from which you came becomes visible as you start the process of returning to dust. With this age comes aches and pains, lots of medication, the increased need for medical experts, and a myriad of other things.
And if aging hasn’t opened your eyes to fact that this life is full of misery, maybe injury and sickness will. The permanent loss of a limb hits people really hard; falling ill to life threatening diseases opens to us the reality of true bodily pain; and let us not forget the mental conditions that makes life so much a struggle.
The world we live in is indeed filled with misery and pain. And in today’s readings, we hear from Job is no stranger to pain. He lost his family, his friends turned on him, he lost everything, and his body became the very visage of pain. The pain drove him mad and led him to proclaiming how he wished he was never born. He cried in turmoil and angrily shouted at God, “Why?” Job is no stranger to pain, and though what we face may be nothing compared to the pain Job felt, we know pain too.
Each and every one of us has witnessed some form of pain. Each and every one of us has asked, “why?” Each and every one of us has thought that something in this life, which happened to us, was not fair. And as we grow up, we come to acknowledge that Life is indeed not fair, it doesn’t give you a fair hand, it doesn’t go the way you planned, and no matter what there will always be struggles.
We all suffer our own ills, whether that is in mind, body, spirit. We all have our struggles, and thorns in our sides that remind us of this fallen world we live in. Some more so than others. Yet, despite all this pain we live in, despite the fact we live in a fallen world, are we truly alone in our struggle? Is not there a God who heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds, who gathers outcasts, who lifts up the humble, who provides for us?
I am reminded of a hymn found in our blue hymnal, WOV, called, “Healer of our every ill.” Some of it goes as such… Now this hymn is not about mere physical healing, but of all ills. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, doesn’t just heal the sick, he also casts out demons. But He doesn’t just cast out demons; he also gives us peace and hope that surpasses fear and sorrow. But he doesn’t just give us peace and hope; he also fills our hearts with his spirit which is the full of comfort. But he doesn’t just do any of this; but he does many more things for us such as opening our eyes beyond this world of pain to see the amazing fullness of God and His promise of Salvation, shifting our eyes away from seeing just the darkness of this world but also the light of God. He provides us with his grace and mercy, fills us with love and understanding, and leads us with strength and power to overcome this miserable existence and instead, March in the light of God, loving Him and passing on His love to each other.
Jesus may be the Lord of Lords, and the King of Kings, but he is also greatest of all Healers. His unconditional love towards us all, his overwhelming compassion, and his amazing miracles surpass all understanding.
This world may be a fallen one full of sin, enslaved by Satan himself, and because of that we, who are under original sin, are already condemned. Thus when Jesus came into the world he came not to condemn it, we are already condemned. No, He came to save it, to heal it, and he did so by dying on that cross. He healed and casted out demons along the way, but that was not his mission. He came to give up his life, to take on all of our pains, our suffering, our sins. He came to conquer death, conquer Hell, and to conquer the dominion of sin. He came to once and for all heal us from our every ill, and give to us the promise of everlasting bliss, everlasting peace, everlasting joy, everlasting happiness, and everlasting life void of suffering. This was the promise he made through the cross; that through Him, heaven can be yours, and though you walk through the valley of death, you fear no evil because He is with you, His rod and His staff they comfort you.
Let us pray,
Dear Heavenly Father, you gave us your Son as a willing sacrifice in order to save us from our sins and the tyranny of Satan. Your sacrifice was made not to condemn us, but to free us and provide us with peace. Guard us we pray, and use us so that others too may be able to experience your salvation. In your most holy name we pray, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.