Ordinary Time: Proper 9

Divine Stirring by Michelle L Hofer — mixed media painting on paper, 8 x 10 inches, 2021.

July 3, 2022 Lectionary Texts — Year C
2 Kings 5:1-14 and Psalm 30 • Isaiah 66:10-14 and Psalm 66:1-9 • Galatians 6:(1-6), 7-16 • Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
View Lectionary

Eternal One, my True God, I cried out to You for help; You mended the shattered pieces of my life. You lifted me from the grave with a mighty hand, gave me another chance, and saved me from joining those in that dreadful pit. Sing, all you who remain faithful! Pour out your hearts to the Eternal with praise and melodies; let grateful music fill the air and bless His name. — Psalm 30:2-4

The piece I have chosen this week is the painting I completed as a prayer for healing in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. This image of an angel stirring waters originates from the story found in John’s gospel:

In Jerusalem they came upon a pool by the sheep gate surrounded by five covered porches. In Hebrew this place is called Bethesda. Crowds of people lined the area, lying around the porches. All of these people were disabled in some way; some were blind, lame, paralyzed, or plagued by diseases[; and they were waiting for the waters to move. From time to time, a heavenly messenger would come to stir the water in the pool. Whoever reached the water first and got in after it was agitated would be healed of his or her disease]. — John 5:2-4

I found the theme of healing — both seeking it (Naaman) and administering it (the seventy sent out in pairs) in this week’s texts. I am most curious about Jesus instructions to cure the sick and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” Some questions are arising for me around this and I present them to you to consider as you contemplate this stirring, healing angel and our lectionary texts:

Was this statement included as a part of the healing process?
Does healing bring the kingdom closer?
Have you experienced a healing that you would say also brought some sense of divine connection with it?

Practicing Visio Divina:

  1. View the artwork
    What do you see?

    Note shapes – color – style – movement
    What stands out for you?
    What are you curious about?
    What questions do you have?
    Hold back any feelings – judgments – opinions
  2. Read the accompanying scripture and look over the artwork again
    What connections do you make?

    Between the image and text?
    What is coming to mind from your own experience?
    What feelings are rising in you?
    Are you uncomfortable with something?
    There are no right or wrong answers
  3. Read the scripture again and explore the artwork a third time
    What do you hear?

    What is God saying to you?
    What do you wish to speak to God?
    What blessing or prayer is rising in you?

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