Dear Church Family and Community,
I learned years ago that closure often comes not when we pressingly need it, but just through the passing of time. I am also regularly reminded that the healing of our less visible wounds and pains come through time and place. I believe God wants us all to know that he can heal us relationally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, but he does so in the place we are, and on his time.
For me, closure and healing came years ago when I first started attending HBIC. I moved to Harrisburg for a new start and closure from a difficult period in my life. I had spent months in relationships that weren’t nourishing. I had taken my eyes off of Jesus and made one relationship in particular my number one priority. This was in addition to the racism I faced because of this relationship, and from people who I believed knew me best. All of these experiences amounted to me needing a fresh start.
However, it wasn’t until I started attending HBIC that I realized that I needed healing. Racism is very much a smog we all breathe in. It infects and affects all of us. It is not just a social construct, but the structural foundation of much of the world we still live in. Facing racism from people who claim Jesus as Lord is also incredibly hard. When it comes consistently and from people who have known you for years upon years, it can be an impossible burden to carry.
I came to Harrisburg running away from all of that. God graced me with HBIC to heal my wounded heart and to address the pain of knowing this was not how it should be and that I could do nothing about it. I remember driving home from church that first year at HBIC. I don’t remember the sermon in particular, but I remember God speaking directly to my heart. It was loud and clear – you cannot be set free until you forgive and learn to trust me as your God and to trust your kin (those siblings of yours who truly believe and follow me).
When we talk about healing in the Church, we sometimes run to the miracles and wonders. We are amazed by the physical power God has over life and death, disease and pain, as well as our thinking and rationalizations. Our God has always been a God who heals. The healing that our God gifts us though is not just limited to our physical needs. God desires to heal us emotionally, to heal our relationships with each other, and to heal our relationship with him. That God heals is a thing we all must know and hold on to. That God desires for we his people to partner with him in his work of healing is a reality we must all walk into.
This week we will continue our DNA: Living Out Our Uniqueness, and into Our Call sermon series by looking at what it means to be a place of God’s relational, emotional, physical and even spiritual healing. To do so, we will begin with the physical healing of Naaman while also focusing on the relational, emotional, and spiritual healing that also occurs in this story. Please take time to read and pray through 2 Kings 5:1-19a. Naaman’s physical condition is on display here, but what are some of the emotional, relational, and spiritual needs you see in his story? What are the needs you see in your own story? Where is it that you need God’s healing today? And what does it mean that we are to be, in essence, places of healing to our world? What would it look like for you to be an instrument of God’s healing in our world?
Also, in this week’s services, we will be having a Ministry Moment by Darrel Reinford, who will be sharing about a special event coming up in a few weeks (Poverty Simulation on March 21st) at our church. This event is designed to teach more about poverty and the many struggles the reality of poverty brings to many of our kin and neighbors. We will also be sharing in communion together. As always, if you missed last week’s service and want to catch up on our sermon, please be sure to check it out here on our website, or through our sermon podcast at Soundcloud, Google Play, iTunes, or Stitcher. Our focus last week was on Luke 5:1-11 and our call and work to be disciples of Jesus who live to partner with God to make more disciples of Jesus.
May this week find you holding on to our God who heals, resting in the comfort of his strength, and completely reliant on God’s love, mercy, and grace.
Love in Christ,
Pastor Hank (Hebrews 4:16)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104