Josephine Olsen speaking at the commencement of the Oasis Community Cafe Christmas Lunch last Thursday. Trust Board member Pusa Finau offered a welcome and Mayor Mike Tana and Terry Alve added words of welcome. This 'Oasis' offers a valuable service in the East with love building healing community. Please pray for Josephine and the team as they serve in Porirua.
Sunday (21 October) was celebrated as St Luke's day in St Anne's. We reflected that St Luke was both a physician and an evangelist. His writings - Luke's Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles are full of references to both: accounts of prayerful healing and proclamation of the Good News about Jesus. After recounting various stories about Jesus, the Apostles and the earliest Christians, Luke focuses on St Paul in the second half of Acts portraying him as the model for evangelism and proclaimer of the word of God. We noted that Paul (2Timothy 4:11) reported to Timothy that, "Only Luke has stayed with me." Luke championed Paul as the pre-eminently early evangelist whose story it was important to record for posterity. Thank God for that.
We also noted that Luke records in his Gospel (chapters 9 & 10) that first the 12 Apostles and then 72 of the earliest followers of Jesus were sent by Him to heal and to tell the Good news about the kingdom of God. We noted that those sent were instructed to accept hospitality offered and not to sweat by carrying anything more than what they stood up in. They were to venture out with faith believing that God would provide not only for their personal needs, but also do what they were commissioned to do - tell the Good News, heal anyone with need and, in the case of the Apostles, exorcise demons.
To their amazement they discovered that God worked through their faithful obedience just as God had been doing through Jesus' ministry. Our lesson: just do it, focusing on the mission and not sweating the small stuff, believing that God is with us. We left thinking about this challenge in terms of the power point slide we viewed which asks, "What do we need to do and be?"
We concluded our reflection time by viewing this image from a secular context which indicates that a healing context is created when we, "Care." The meaningfully rich te reo Maori word, "Manaakitanga" offers insight into the kind of healing presence the Gospels refer to.
Luke 10:8 If the people of a town welcome you, eat whatever they offer. 9 Heal their sick and say, “God’s kingdom will soon be here!”
While Jesus was with them, His disciples experienced the healing power of God when they prayed for sick people. The people of St Anne's, Porirua similarly experience this. I know from personal experience. St Anne's folk prayed intensively for my five year son who had leukaemia in 1996. Today Caleb is a robust 28 year old working in IT with Kiwi Bank. Just this week elderly Bill assured me that he is alive because of the prayers of St Anne's folk - several times he has been dying in hospital to discover the healing power of prayer.
This healing Eucharist on St Luke's Day 2018 at 12pm on Thursday 18 October will again offer us encounter with the healing Christ. As you come, remember to bring friends and family; anyone who needs healing. We will pray and anoint people with oil believing that God will be present to heal the sick, bless the discouraged and comfort the afflicted. Then we will give thanks by sharing communion together. All welcome regardless of who you are. Come and be blessed by God.
And to follow up we will continue to focus on healing in our worship on Sunday 21st October at 10am in St Anne's.
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Members of the Porirua Anglican Communities