Bible Book: Revelation / Openbaring
Verse (to): 0
Text: Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5
There are two alternative readings for this Sunday. The RCL gives John 5:1-9 and the Episcopal Lectionary Acts 14:8-18. Both these readings are about healing. John 5 tells how Jesus healed the man at the pool of Bethzatha who had been ill for thirty-eight years. In Acts 14:8-10 we read how Paul healed the man from Lystra who was cripple from his birth.
John describes in Rev 22:2 that he saw the tree of life in the holy city Jerusalem: “through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Both the fruit and the leaves of the tree of life are life-sustaining. In the holy Jerusalem there will be life and life abundantly because the throne of God and the Lamb will be in it (22:1, 3) and his servants shall see God (22:4).
This is a wonderful vision of the inheritance that God is keeping in heaven for his blessed children (compare Mat 25:34 and 1 Pet 1:4). While I read these Bible passages one question repeatedly came to my mind: What does healing and health means today in the world we live in?
Is health a luxurious commodity that can be bought if you have enough money? Or is it a demonstration of how strong your faith in God is? Is it the absence of all life-threatening conditions in my body? Am I healthy when I think I am OK but I am unaware of the heart condition I inherited from my father? Is someone healthy whose cancer has been treated and is in remission?
These questions can be multiplied and they do not have easy answers. But they cannot be ignored. They influence our thoughts and actions with regard to HIV and AIDS.
The good news is: There is much to be learned from people who have found a way to live positively with HIV.
It doesn’t matter how you define healing and health – they are gifts from God.
To think about (or discuss): In what way do you need healing today? How can you be more sensitive to other people’s needs for healing?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)