READ : James 5:13-15
In my church ordained leaders “hold offices.” This passage says plainly the office of an elder is a person, not a place. And the person makes house calls on people needing healing and forgiveness.
Before we discuss the gift of healing, let us recall the trouble and happiness that co-exist in any church family. It is not a place only for those in full gloom, nor those in full bloom. There is room in the church for all seasons and sentiments at the same time! Sometimes our joys are interrupted by sadness, but just as likely, our sadness can be interrupted by gladness refreshing reports of jobs found, hurts healed, brokenness mended.
But healing? Here let’s not speculate too much. A sick person is instructed to call the elders. The elder by reason of that person’s office comes and anoints with oil and offers prayers for healing. No instruction could be more plain. The “office” embodies the gift of healing and the focus is not on the officer. But sadly, no activity in our ministry is more neglected. Faith healing is not the issue. Obedience is a continuum of prayer care for the sick from home and church, from phone call to “house call.” Such a prayerful response to illness completes the response James advises.
Open us, Lord, to the full dimensions of your healing love and forgiveness as we call on each other to call on you. Amen.