I think it was Thursday or Friday that Mark, the pastor of our church asked me to prepare a sermon "just in case" for Sunday. A friend who was lined up to speak had not been well, and "just in case" she wasn't able to be there, Mark was just covering all the bases! I kept telling myself it was "just in case" so chances are I would not be called upon to bring it.
I have been following a reading plan with some friends, designed to read through the Bible in a year. Very often I am one or two days behind and end up at the weekends simply catching up. I generally get behind because something catches my interest and I go off at tangent! My most recent tangent was thinking about how quickly the Israelites forgot. After the death of Joshua, they the next generation forgot all about the things God had done and went off and worshipped idols. It just took one generation.
The Passover that was designed to help them remember was no longer celebrated. There was supposed to be a "When your children ask you…..You will tell them." That kept the whole story alive. Except no one did any asking and no one did any telling. In my sermon I said that we did not do enough asking and telling, and talking about what God has been doing in our lives.
Afterwards, a friend, Jenny came up to me to apologise for not sharing at the front when she could have done. A couple of weeks ago, at a prayer meeting, we had been praying for her son, Leon. He seems to lurch from one chest infection to another and Jenny was not getting any help from doctors. She was made to feel that she was an over anxious mother and that Leon just had a virus which he would recover from soon. We did pray for Leon's healing, but also that she would find a sympathetic doctor - one that did not dismiss her concerns so casually. She had taken Leon back to the doctor earlier in the week. He had been given a thorough examination and specific problems had been identified. He had slightly swollen tonsils and a sinus infection. The doctor prescribed a course of medicine and Leon is making a proper recovery.
I don't have a problem with doctors - the author of one of the gospels was a doctor. He spent a lot of time with St Paul who was not a doctor. Between them both lots of people were healed of illnesses. For some it was through the touch of Paul, or his shadow falling on them. For others is was the careful examination and treatment with medicine from Luke! Just as God had given the gift of healing to Paul, to do it with touches and shadows, God also gave the gift of healing the Luke through his knowledge of medicine.