From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Reese calls worshipers to cast shadows of healing

Date 18 Jun 2002 15:57:40 -0400

Note #7264 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:


Reese calls worshipers to cast shadows of healing

By Eva Stimson

COLUMBUS, OH - "We live in a society that is sick," the Rev. Jim Reese, interim executive presbyter of the Presbytery of New York City, told an early-morning crowd of worshipers on June 18, adding, "The church of Jesus Christ is only being the church when it is causing people to get well."

In a sermon titled "Stimulating Shadows," Reese cited the apostle Peter in chapter 5 of Acts to illustrate the powerful and healing influence Christians can have on those around them. He said people were so impressed with Peter's healing gifts that they carried the sick into the streets, hoping that Peter's shadow would fall on them, healing them.

"Peter was not aware of what his shadow was doing," Reese said. "It was not Peter's deliberate acts, but his unplanned influences that were spreading the purpose of God."

Like Peter, he said, "Every day, we are influencing persons by the shadows that fall from our lives." Reese mentioned parents, teachers and employers as some of those who often have opportunities to influence others.  

He recalled a Sunday school teacher, "Miss B," who was an important influence in his own life. "I may not remember her lessons," he said, "but if it weren't for her influence, I might not be here today."

And what was the source of Peter's power to heal and influence people?

It wasn't a matter of education, intelligence, talent, money or prestige, Reese said, noting that the Bible says it was because he "had been with Jesus."

Where do we get our power to bring healing to the world?  In answer, Reese had the roomful of worshipers chant this refrain: "It's being with Jesus."
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