There is a Balm

The outline of a reflection shared at Duncan United Church on Sunday February 8, 2015. Readings from scripture referenced were from Corinthians and Mark and can be found at: http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/texts.php?id=64

Italicized lyrics sung to the tune of “There is a Balm in Gilead” gods-healing-embrace-kerstin-berthold

Where is the balm, can it be had? To ease the heartsick soul? Where is the balm, can it be had? To make the wounded whole?

Desperate for a cure.

We are so desperate for a cure.

Having irritated the world’s climate to the point where it invokes a self-defense protocol that is aimed at wiping out the effects of the irritants, we are, desperately, seeking a cure.


 

We are so desperate for a cure.

Having participated in programs of insecticide, planti-cide, germicide and bacteria-cide, to the point where we fear our ability to keep our own bodies safe (let alone the environment that sustains us), we are desperately seeking a cure.

Where is the balm? Can it be made? To mend our broken ways? Where is the balm? Who must be paid? To restore from death our days?

We are so desperate for a cure.

Having accepted and incorporated ‘happiness’ as that state which depends upon having what the neighbours have, therefore throwing us into an endless cycle of seeking happiness as defined by another, we are desperate in our seeking for a cure.

Where is the balm? Can it be found? To bring us into peace? Where is the balm? Is it around? To find us our release?

We are so desperate for a cure.

Having decided that everything is out of our control and being unwilling to accept that anything is out of our control and refusing, therefore, to participate in any process whereby we are not in direct control, thus leaving whatever control there might be in the hands of others about whose conduct we complain whilst still refusing to take up a role in guidance, if not control, we continue in our desperation, seeking a cure. A physician, a leader, a movement, a guardian, a knife for the knot.

Where is the balm? Is he here yet? The hero of our tale? Where is the balm? Is she here yet? The one who will not fail?

We are so desperate for a cure.

Deciding in favour of ultimate control, we fight for the right to end our existence on this plane. Desperately selecting a cure. A switch. An ending.

Where is the balm? Oblivion? Unmaking all that’s here? Where is the balm? To be undone? To bring an end to fear?

We are so desperate for a cure.

We seek the possession of cures. Cures for loneliness, insecurity, lack of faith, hubris, insularity, self-centredness, the natural rhythms and cycles of life, despair, disease, and dysfunction. Cures that alter our states of awareness, cures that:

Intervene. Interfere. Interrupt.

Where is the balm? The certain path? That makes us all secure? Where is the balm? The end of wrath? That wipes away the tear?

We are so desperate for a cure.

We meet in fear and insecurity and desperately seek control.

Paul met folk on the ground of need, and responded with the gospel of healing. Responded to the desperate search for cure with the ancient truths lived and taught by Jesus. And they were healed.

Led to healing by Jesus. Some went on to live in response to healing. Some did not.

Where would you be healed today? What would you be dispossessed of? What ground would you stand on with Paul? Where are you in our story? Desperate for a cure? Seeking the healing grace of God? If you had one, how would you speak of the other?

Let us think on that…as we sing:

There is a balm, in Gilead, to make the wounded whole. There is a balm in Gilead, to heal the broken soul.

Sometimes I feel discouraged, and feel my work’s in vain, but then the Holy Spirit, revives my soul again.

There is a balm, in Gilead, to make the wounded whole. There is a balm in Gilead, to heal the broken soul.

If you cannot preach like Peter, and you cannot pray like Paul, you can tell the love of Jesus and know his healing call

There is a balm, in Gilead, to make the wounded whole. There is a balm in Gilead, to heal the broken soul.

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About Keith Simmonds

Born and raised in the middle north (Kitimat BC and Flin Flon MB), I've worked 30 years in Mining/Smelting and the Pulp industry, while engaging in political action, community organizing, and union activism on the side. In and Out of Spiritual Being, my faith journey is through a Christian context, although I honour, uphold and am fascinated by other paths to the mountain. I began my training in diaconal ministry with the United Church of Canada in 2004, and began serving as a minister in Rossland, Trail, Beaver Valley and Salmo BC in 2009. My family and I moved to Duncan BC in August of 2013, where I serve as part of the ministry team. My partner, Laurel Walton, and I have five children between us. Liam attends Cow High, Jonah lives and works in Duncan, Brenna resides in Courtenay, Amy and her partner, Craig are in Vancouver, and Wade is in Calgary. My parents and siblings live in Kamloops, BC.

2 thoughts on “There is a Balm

  1. Hello Cousin,

    where did you get so good at doing your sermons!! I want to be on the mailing list for these. I really enjoy what you say….. I sure it is the power of the Holy Spirit… what more can we say Keith. Love and best blessings from us here in Rupert.

    1. Hi Carol, Nice to hear from you. I not sure that I’m always ‘on’, but I try. I believe you can find an RSS feed under the tab ‘please follow us’ I think it’s the orange circle on the top left. If you pick that you should get a notice when I post. Not always frequently, not always sermons…depends on the Spirit, I suppose..

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