11.9.08

The Well Christian Healing centre Leamington Spa

We've just had an evening with the Rev Anne Hibbert from the Well Christian Healing Centre. She is a very gifted speaker. She narrated the events of her ministry with flare and grace. She had laryngitis in about 2001 or 2, don't quite remember and had been invited to a friend's garden to sit there and rest. Whilst in the garden she felt as though God was telling her to start a healing centre and she should call it the well. It took her a long time to say yes to God but she did and The Well is now an established centre for healing.
She spoke about the bible's double mandate: to go and preach the good news and heal the sick. God is the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow and so He seeks to heal us today as much as He ever did. He, as Jesus, sent out the 12 to preach the Good news and heal the sick, then the 70 in Luke 10 who returned full of joy. We are his disciples too and we spread the Good News and pray for healing - this is our mandate - we must and should pray for healing, our own and others.

It is very strange, or rather not, (a God-moment) that Anne echoed many of the things that I had been thinking about today as I studied. I had been looking at a passage in 'Recovering Jesus' this afternoon (Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld), in which he had been describing 'Seventy is, of course, a highly symbolic number in Judaism, representing inclusiveness and completeness. Perhaps with this number Luke wishes to signal to his readers that what Jesus said...is valid for all of his followers...' This was just the point that Anne was trying to make, or at least the point I came away having grasped - we have been given authority from on high to spread The Good News and pray for healing. She had some powerful testimonies to share and quoted Isaiah 53: 5
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed,

and particularly 'by his wounds we are healed', which brings me to my second 'God-moment' for I'd just so happened to become absorbed today in a post by Peter Kirk at Gentle Wisdom, in which he's debaing the significance of these words, in terms of whether Isaiah is referring to Physical healing as well as spiritual healing. Here is an example from the debate which I found convincing.

What the cross teaches us is that Jesus’ wounds were physical, and if the wounds were physical then surely so was the healing. We see clearly that Jesus was able to heal, presumably prospectively by his own wounds, and that his servants are able to heal in his name. The Greek word iaomai “heal” used in 1 Peter 2:24 is used in the NT overwhelmingly of physical healing; the only clear counter-example is in Hebrews 12:13 which is part of a metaphor. So it seems likely that Peter understood this verse in Isaiah in terms of physical healing. by Peter Kirk

and

Nick Norelli adds 'there is precedent in the NT for understanding Isaiah 53 with regard to physical healing in Matthew 8:16-17'

When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

"He took up our infirmities
and carried our diseases."[a]

  1. Matthew 8:17 Isaiah 53:4
TC Robinson has an epiphany moment when he works out the implications of this application
(Jesus wants to heal our physical ailments too) and says,
But the chiasmus [in 53:4-5: healing - punishment - sins - punishment - healing.] has “sins” as its focus, but then we find Isaiah 53:4 being applied to physical healing. Hmm…

Brian interjects with a point that qualifies Anne Hibbert's:
'Jesus healed before his resurrection, why not after? Is he not the same yesterday, today and forever?'


The chiasmus has 'sins' as its topic but we can't deny that it is housed inside 'healing'.

Anyway, I digress, Anne enacted the healing of the bleeding woman very powerfully and spoke of her own healing very openly. She had us pray in pairs a very simple prayer:

Jesus, meet .... at their deepest point of need. Amen.

This was very powerful. A feeling of heat in the head area and an intense shaking of the legs, the Lord also touched my prayer partner significantly, it was a very beautiful experience. We meet with God at these times, as we ask Him in the power of His spirit to come and make His presence known. Of course, He is always there, but as Rob Bell describes in Breathe, we really don't tap int this enough, we are not aware that we are standing on Holy ground; we are not aware that we are walking past burning bushes in all our business.

Thank you God (thank you also Anne Hibbert).

To find out more about The Well see www.wellhealing.org

1 comment:

Peter Kirk said...

Thanks for this post, and for the link. But the words you quote in fact come from a comment I made at New Leaven.

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