If we were asked to open a bible and find the creation story I guess our instincts would take us straight to Genesis 1—‘In the beginning…’ But the truth is that the Noah story, here, marks just as true a beginning. It’s a creation story. Forth from the flooding waters God brings the world we know. And like the first creation story this one happens in stages—40 days and then a raven, and then a dove, and then another dove, before the dry land could be given back to us. But the thing I really like about this creation story is that it is a healing—the world begins in healing, in a vast putting-right of what was wrong. Creation is mending. And God’s work of creation goes on whenever we heal, or mend, or reconcile. Whenever we put right what has gone wrong.
Jesus, Mark says, went about preaching the Good News. But if you listen you hardly hear him say much at all. All his preaching is in what he does. He heals. Today’s healing story is particularly poignant to me because it takes some time—some trial and error—and because it takes more than a word or a thought or a prayer to do the trick—Jesus uses some simple medical methods—a human touch and a simple anointing. And, in a moment, we will do the same.
All being well, Brother Norman is going into hospital tomorrow to have his knee replaced. Like I said whenever we put right what is wrong the world is healed and the world is created. Tonight do our own bit towards his healing at the hands of his doctors. We pray for him … and for all our sick. We lay on hands. We anoint him with oil.
We do it simply, we do it in hope, and we do it as our part of the God’s healing and creation of the world.
February 19th, 2003