Scriptures for September 27th: Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 9:20-22; Psalm 124; James 5:13-20; Mark 9:38-50
James:. The theme for this week and next week seems to be healing. A reminder that healing comes from God. So it is important that we pray for God to bring healing. James implores the elders of the church to gather around someone to pray for them when they are sick. But you don’t have to have any special gifts to pray – just a trust that God hears and that God will answer. James believes that God will answer your prayers because you are righteous, not because you are gifted. What are our notions of healing today? What role does the doctor play? What role does faith play in healing?
Mark: In the midst of Jesus awareness that he is making “the trip”. That is the trip to his destiny at the cross. Jesus has continued his ministry of healing. He had healed individuals, and now he is healing situations. He asks us to think of ways that we are a hindrance to healing. Not for ourselves, but for others. How are we unintentionally a stumbling block for others to listen to the word of God for themselves. How does our opinion of the church prevent others from coming to church. Jesus warns that it is very dangerous to let our judgments prevent others from coming to God. But how to we get in touch with the way we stand in the way of others?
Questions: How we do help others see God for themselves? What do we believe about healing? What role does God play in our healing? How is Paul’s view of healing different from what we see in James? When are we compelled to pray for others?