In the sermon on Sunday our deacon (who was presiding as our priest was on vacation), mentioned that there was healing to be found in communion with one another. She gave as example a story about a prison guard asking a prisoner if he would return to the car of his own volition if the guard removed his shackles and waited for him in the parking lot rather than escorting him into his mother’s funeral. There was a need for communion and trust between those two men in order for the prisoner to freely attend his mother’s funeral and mourn her in community with his relatives.
The phrase “healing power of communion” really caught my attention and started me thinking….
When we join together in communion and take bread and wine together there is healing to be found. Not only are we acknowledging the spiritual healing of salvation but we are also symbolizing the healing that we give and receive as we live together in the world as one body of believers. Here at the eucharist we are able to lay down our hurts and pains and be made whole again, and here we are also reminded of the necessity of sacrifice before healing can occur.
Wait a minute! Must there be sacrifice for healing to occur?
Yes! No matter what kind of healing we think of (physical or spiritual)something must be given up before wholeness can be restored.
Perhaps we don’t often think of it this way, but even a common cold requires some sacrifice. I tend to push through illnesses, telling myself “I don’t have time to be sick.” yet I also find myself giving up certain activities or project deadlines in order to hasten the healing process.
When W was diagnosed with a pancreatic cyst at two months old, he required surgery as well as a long healing period.
Spiritual or psychological healing also requires sacrifice. In order to heal from the hurts of the past and continue a relationship I must give up my “right” to be hurt and forgive without holding a grudge.
When we live in community with each other we must constantly be laying down our own desires for the good of the community whether it be the community of two that we call marriage, the community of family or the larger community of church or neighborhood. As we interact with one another and sometimes give up our own desires and sometimes have our desires fulfilled, we do experience healing, in ourselves and in this broken world.