Give Me Your Best Sermon For Healing

More than a decade ago, I challenged 15 other preachers to give me their best sermons on healing. I suspect I could not get them to agree on the price of a cup of coffee, yet each passionately felt the need for people of faith to get involved in an active healing ministry. The result was a book called I Am the Lord Who Heals You (Abingdon, 2004).

Here are a few great quotes from those great minds.

“The exodus narrative is an attestation that the God of Israel, in ways visible and in ways not seen, has all the power of all creation to turn life to flourishing and well-being. This God works not only by one-on-one remedies but also by facing the systems of death and robbing them of authority. It is the same God who is present in Jesus of Nazareth.” —Walter Bruggemann

“When something terrible is done to us, of course are are victims. If we physically survive, we are survivors. But often that is where people stop. The next step is not taken—to become a victor, to move from being an object of history to becoming once more a subject; to become what that wonderful word in Scripture speaks uf as being cocreators, being the coworkers of Christ in building God’s kingdom. You see, if something terrible happens to us, we never remain unchanged and unmarked. It will either diminish us or cause us to grow.” —Michael Lapsley, SSM

“Early rabbinic literature understood the truth many of us are just discovering: there are multiple dimensions to the experience of illness and healing, and each dimension affects the others. The traditional Jewish prayer for healing, for instance, speaks of healing the nefesh (the soul, spirit, or whole person) and healing the guf (body). … We can elevate the souls of others, and thereby affect their recovery, by tending to their spirits as well as their physical ailments.” —Rabbi Micah Greenstein

“It is very surprising to a sophisticated mind and very humbling to a Christian to be aware that, of all the ways in which God could effect healing in the world, he chose the church to be the instrument of the healing ministry of his Son.” —William E. Swing

“Takeout the healing stories from the gospel and you’ve got pretty much a skeleton of a story left. For Jesus’ ministry was preaching, teaching, and healing. They ere there at the very center of his ministry.” —James A. Forbes, Jr.

• What about you? If you were preaching on the topic of healing, what would you be sure to say?

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