Tag Archives: Healing

Between the Lines: Proper 16- August 25, 2013

Text: Luke 13:10-17

Elder Nepalese woman doing circumambulations o...

Elder Nepalese woman bent with arthritis, doing circumambulations of the Boudha Stupa, Kathmandu
(Photo credit: Wonderlane)

And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?’

This is the only place in the entire Bible where someone is referred to as “a daughter of Abraham.” Plenty of references to “a son of Abraham,” but not a woman. How do you suppose the synagogue leader feels when he hears Jesus say such an audacious thing? And the others who are standing about observing? And how do you imagine the woman, herself, feels when called out in this way? As she “breaks the glass ceiling” imagine all the great possibilities that suddenly fill her dreams. How might her life as a Jewish woman now be filled with new promise?  After she gets her breath, what about the cost? What is the price she is going to pay for being singled out and named in this unique way? Not unlike the cost and promise of standing up straight. What does she sacrifice by giving up 18 years of being bent over? For all the new world now open to her, what is the price she is going to pay?

As well as for us. When you consider the “new you” who greets the world in a spirit filled and open way, ponder the cost to be paid for coming out of hiding and looking the world in the eye. Resurrection always includes some dying. As your inner bent over one faces the possibilities, it is important to remember that before every Easter there is a Good Friday.

– Bill Dols

“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC.  For details and subscription information, see  About BibleWorkbench.


Between the Lines: Easter 6: May 5, 2013

Text: John 5:1-9

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time…

And the lame man will walk

And the lame man will walk (Photo credit: Maxine Sherrin)

I am intrigued by the image of the healing pool this man has sat beside for so many years.  I wonder what form that pool and its waters might take in my life.

Take some art materials and paper and quickly give some form to this healing pool.  What waters have you lived beside, without ever putting your toe in?  What expectations might you have around what others have found healing?  What do you know of finding life somewhere other than in the expected place?  What might it be like to “stand up…”

What might it cost you to pick up that mat that you have been lying on?  What might it cost you not to?

What might it be like to walk away, carrying your mat?

Put on a short piece of music, perhaps something like Pachelbel’s Canon, or Barber’s Adagio for Strings.  Sit with it for a moment beside the pool, waiting. Decide as you sit there whether you will stand up, or not.  Take up your mat and walk.  Or not.

Consider, then, what you now know that you didn’t know before.

– Beth Harrison

“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC.  For details and subscription information, see About BibleWorkbench.


Between the Lines: Pentecost 8: July 22, 2012

Text: Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

Corcovado jesus

Corcovado Jesus
(Photo credit: @Doug88888)

… and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

Mark’s description of the fringe of Jesus‘ cloak makes clear he is writing about a man serious about his Jewish faith. Such a cloak fringe is required in the Moses tradition: you shall make tassels on the four corners of the cloak with which you cover yourself (Deuteronomy 22:12); The Lord said to Moses: Speak to the Israelites, and tell them to make fringes on the corners of their garments throughout their generations and to put a blue cord at each corner. You have the fringe so that, when you see it, you will remember all the commandments and do them… (Numbers 15:37-39). Continue reading

Between the Lines: Lent 4: March 18, 2012

Text:  Numbers 21:4-9

“We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us.”

The Christological Symbol (Brazen Serpent Scul...

Image via Wikipedia

It strikes me that God doesn’t give the people what they want. They ask for the serpents to be taken away, and instead, God tells Moses in effect to make the serpent even more present to them.

When in your life have you wanted to be relieved of some person or situation that was proving troublesome, only to find yourself even more confronted? How did you respond? What did you learn?

– Andy Kille



Between the Lines: Epiphany 4: January 29, 2012

Text: Mark 1:21-28

Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.’

Scream Cropped

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The church that I pastored years ago was located in a downtown area and was surrounded by more than 75 residential care homes for people who suffered from various kinds of “unclean spirits”—mental disabilities, alcohol and drug addiction, previous jail time. It was not uncommon for someone to “cry out” during a worship service—to voice their pain or disappointment, to frighten away their torments, to disagree with the preacher. Continue reading

Between the Lines: Lent 4: April 3, 2011

Text: John 9:1-41

Man Born Blind

Jesus heals the man born blind (Cameroon, Africa)

When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent).

What an odd story, when you enter it. Other gospel accounts of Jesus’ healing seem to involve little more than a touch (if that—how many times does Jesus say, “Your faith has made you well”?) Imagine yourself as the blind man, sitting in your customary place by the road, overhearing (maybe not for the first time) some passers-by debating the meaning of your blindness. What questions might you have asked yourself, or God, or others about your blindness? Continue reading