During Holy Week almost 100 people in WCC participated in the Stations of the Cross. Slowly they walked through 13 stations reflecting upon the Jesus’ journey of self-giving love for the redemption and restoration of all things. In the cross we see victorious suffering as God demonstrates a different kind of power, one capable of saving the world.
On Easter we celebrated resurrection. Jesus wouldn’t stay dead! In the resurrection of King Jesus God proves that He has the power to defeat evil, sin and death, so neither evil, sin or death would continue to have power over us. In His resurrection Jesus proves that He really is God in the flesh. What He says about life can be trusted no matter how different or absurd it may seem. In Jesus God proves that He is the King we’ve always needed, a King who loves, forgives, and changes everyone who comes to him. In the Resurrection of Jesus Christ God showed us what the world should have looked like all along, and what the world will look like in the future. Now no fear, no hurt, no evil, no suffering, no sin, not even death will have the final word over those who trust in Jesus as the risen Lord and King.
Now we are invited to live as though the triumph of the Cross and vindication of the Resurrection are true. We long for God’s shalom–wholeness–in our lives and the lives of those around us as His Spirit bears witness to the presence of Christ within, among and between us as His people.
In the Cross and Resurrection we see that God wishes us to be redeemed and restored much more than we wish to be redeemed and restored. We may wonder if our sins can be forgiven. He wishes to forgive our sins more than we wish our sins to be forgiven. We may wonder if our hearts can find healing. He wishes to heal our hearts more than we wish our hearts to be healed. We may wonder if we will ever find peace and joy. He wishes to give us peace and become our joy more than we wish for peace and long for joy. He desires for us to know Him and the peace, the wholeness, the restoration offered to us through King Jesus as beloved children and citizens of his kingdom. This leads us to our upcoming Healing Sunday.
This Sunday we will call upon the “God Who Heals” and brings dead things to life to heal us in our minds, bodies, souls and hearts. Each year we’ve gathered for this we’ve witnessed God work in beautifully redemptive ways. In keeping with the spirit of James 5 :13-20 our elders/shepherds will be available to pray and anoint any who desire with oil joining you in calling upon the name of the Lord to bring healing, accompanied by the WCC staff. For those of us who do not feel compelled to come to receive prayer we will continue to sing the song Healer, a song that calls out to God to make his peace known to all of us. Let us pray that God in his faithful love shows himself strong among us. So, here is what all of us can do:
1. Please pray fervently.
2. Please consider joining us in fasting and praying for those in need of healing (from all hurts). If you are in need of healing, please fast and pray. We fast not to get God’s attention but to give him ours. Every time we feel the hunger pain (fasting from food) or want our special tea or coffee (fasting from drink) or go to log on to Facebook (fasting from technology) we remember that we are abstaining from these things and turn to pray instead.
3. If you are in need of healing come with the expectation that in the gathering of God’s people His Spirit is with us bearing witness to the risen Christ. When we think healing we thing peace from pains of all sorts–anxiety, depression, addiction, loneliness, disease, abandonment, fears, etc. If you want to be freed into a new way of being calling upon the name of the Lord to bring freedom and healing from the pains that entangle our lives.
4. Believe that the same God who raised Christ’s mortal body to life can raise you to life (Read all of Romans 8).
5. If you are not planning to come forward for prayer please come and bear witness to God’s work among us and join us as we pray for those within our family who need God’s peace in a particular way.
Finally, I wanted to share how God worked in some of our family through the Stations of the Cross, each time pointing them to new life and resurrection; each time pointing us to wholeness. Here is what some of them had to say:
“I went early Friday and it just gave me a very calming affect (been struggling with some things for a while), it also really focused me on what Jesus went through for us more than normal…”
“The Stations of the Cross provided me with a chance to slow down and spend some dedicated time focusing on the reality of the crucifixion of Jesus. I reflected deeply about the humanity of Jesus and the pain he endured, imagining the emotions his family and followers felt. At one point, I realized how I am no different than those in the mob that mocked and ridiculed… taking the time to walk through those events mentally helped draw an emotional connection that turned into humility regarding my position in life and then heartfelt gratitude for his grace.”
“When I found myself at the last station ready to take communion, the need to to forgive someone and a difficult situation was gently brought to my mind. Taking a few minutes to pour out my hurts to our Lord, who understands all the pain I could ever experience, renewed my awareness of God’s deep love for me (and all in our community) and His desire for us to experience wholeness in Him.”
Wholeness. Yes, it is what God desires for all of us, and there is a blood-stained cross and empty tomb that says it’s so! Let us believe him, trust him, and live as though it is true, for the good of all and to the praise of his glory.
See you Sunday.
P.S. I will share more testimonies from the stations of the cross later this week.