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For a Healing New Year

Greetings WAC Community,

Some men came, bringing Jesus a paralytic, carried by the four of them.  Since they could not get to him because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven. . . I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”  He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. – Mark 2:3-5.11-12

On New Year’s Eve, I was at the home of a family where the husband’s father had been a Medicine Man.  I shared my story about my step-daughter who more than 20 years ago was healed from cancer through an Amish man named Jake who had studied from Native American healers.  I recall that I first had prayed that she get the surgery that her doctor told her was necessary or she would die within two years.  She refused, saying, “No one is cutting on my body.”  I realized that I was praying the wrong prayer and changed my prayer that she be healed.  After that is when she heard about Jake and went to visit him.  On her second visit with Jake, he told her that she was having trouble forgiving someone and suggested she ask someone else to do it for her.  She asked me and I did that.  Later, a follow up visit with her doctor and further tests revealed that her cancer was gone, but there were scars from where it had advanced after the initial diagnosis.  I read the report.  I believed.  Today, my step-daughter Raven is alive and well, now married, a truck driver and the owner of several horses.

In Indian Country today, including here on the Wind River Reservation, there is unresolved grief from which healing is needed.  The needed healing is tied to the acknowledgment of sin and forgiveness.  This is true of other situations in our communities and world.  I believe the lesson from the report from Mark, also told in the books of Matthew and Luke, is what we can do today.

Let’s look at what the four men did.  They acted.  First, they took the paralyzed man to Jesus.

Second, when they encountered barriers to get to Jesus, they found a way around the barriers.

The four men had faith, and when Jesus saw their faith, that is when he forgave and healed.

In most healing stories in the Bible, Jesus said, “By your faith, you are healed.”  But this report is different.  He references the faith of the four men, not the man to be healed.  For all we know, the one paralyzed may not have even wanted to be healed.  So even if others are not ready for whatever reason to let go of the sickness in today’s world, by our faith we can act and ask for healing.

A quote I heard recently, source unknown, is “Where there is no faith in the future, there is no power in the present.”  St. Benedict said, “We always begin again.”  2016, I believe, is going to be a significant year for much needed healing.  By our faith, we can pray, act, and move around barriers, and see the amazing results!

Save the date:  January 31, 2016, 4 – 8 pm, “Doing Justice in a Red State: Recognizing Racism; Embracing Diversity,” in Laramie.  More details to come.

Fear not.  Be bold.  Do justice.



Thanks to your generosity, the Wyoming Association of Churches met our need for 2015.  But we need your on-going support for 2016, as we still have much to do.  Is your congregation a contributor to and member of the Wyoming Association of Churches?  If not, please encourage them to do so for 2016.  Our faith, work and voice are needed more now than ever.

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