Touched By Jesus

Thursday, January 25, 2018
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Listen while you read: "God Who Made The Earth"1 (Lyrics)

Most of us older people who are used to the traditional way of reformed worship are happy with that style. We are handed a bulletin as we enter church; we read the announcements; and as soon as the service starts, we follow the order of service. We know when to stand and when to sit. We know when the Scriptures are going to be read, when the prayers are to be said, and when the minister is going to give the message. We like it that way: we know what is going to happen.

One time in a church we attended, everything was going well. The minister had started to preach. All of a sudden, there was a big commotion at the back of the sanctuary. A very inebriated man, not well dressed, smoking a cigarette, stumbled to the front of the church and found his way into a pew. One of the ushers wanted to come forward to escort the man out, but the minister motioned to leave him be. There was a hush all over the congregation; some were amazed, some perturbed, while others wondered what was going to happen next. The man threw his cigarette down on the carpet and squashed it with his boot, and then with tears in his eyes and a very loud voice so that all could hear him, he said, "Pastor, please pray for me."

The minister came down from the pulpit, put his hand on the man's head, and asked the Lord to take the demon of addiction away and to guide him onto a better road of life. The man stayed for the whole service, and several people talked to him afterwards. We heard that he lived in an apartment near the church. Shortly thereafter, he moved away and was apparently doing well.

In Mark chapter 1, we are told what happened after Jesus called His first four disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee:

Mark 1:21-22 – They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. (NIV)

The people were listening to Him as He spoke words that they could understand and relate to. Suddenly, there was big commotion in the synagogue:

Mark 1:23-25 – Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are — the Holy One of God." "Be quiet!" said Jesus sternly. "Come out of him!" (NIV)

Immediately the spirit came out.

The commotion in the service that we were at was disturbing, and I'm sure that the people in the synagogue felt the same way. But in both cases, people were touched by Jesus and made whole.

Sometimes, disruptions in our staid services are good, especially when God shows up and wondrous things happen. We need to be much more open to what God is doing, or wants to be doing in our midst when we gather in Jesus' name.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are times when we need Your healing touch and Your guidance. We ask that we will have the courage and the faith to cry out to You when we do. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A good word Joel.

    Amen to that Joel.

    Talk about an experiential service! Thanks.

    Too bad it doesn’t happen more often.

    Great message. Thanks for all your devotions. Keep up the great work.

    That is so very true! Sometimes in our services, and in our lives, and in our service to our God and our neighbours – and our families, when we are disrupted by changes, we actually grow in our faith and obedience. It almost makes one cheer for disruptions!

    What a wonderful story!
    God definitely comes into our lives and sometimes even turns them upside-down.
    Would that more churches could experience this as well, but too often we push the Spirit away.
    Thank you.

    What a story! Thanks for writing it down and publishing it.
    By the way, I didn’t know I was supposed to read the bulletin before the service…I’ve been reading it during the service.
    I’ll have to get there earlier!!!
    Blessings to you today.

    Joel thank you for reminding us that God’s forgiveness and healing is for all sinners, not just the few in the pews. I thank God for your minister at the time when he showed his brother God’s love by praying with and for him. Father please help us to react in love, put aside our embarrassment and lead people to you as they see their need. Amen

    Thanks for the story, Joel. I have often pondered if our reformed style of worship keeps younger people from our church. Our church is warm and welcoming and attracts new members but very few of them are young. Is that because of the “anything goes” philosophy of this day and time?
    Your devotionals are always appreciated.

    I’ve heard of ‘staged’ type actions like this where a new pastor, disguises himself as the ‘homeless person’ to see how his new congregation would act.
    Very interesting, even better when it’s real life as in your story.
    Thanks for writing and sharing it,

    Thanks Joel for sharing this devotional and for the prayers for healing which are much appreciated. Blessings.
    We too had a similar service interruption. After tending the fellow’s immediate issues, he was given a sandwich and offered a cup of coffee. He rejected them and stumbled from our doors. We’d prayed, but as far as is known, sadly he continued in his self-destruction. I still think of him from time to time and then pray for him. May all who struggle with addiction be delivered and set free in Christ Jesus. Blessings.

    I didn’t know who the writer was and could hardly wait until the end of the devotional to find out.
    As a person who goes to the praise and worship service in our church, with no written order of service, it was enlightening to me to know that people really, really want to know what is coming and when. To me, it is important. What happens when, happens.
    Thank you for letting me know how many of the other parishioners feel.
    And your story was a good one as we too have had the occasional outburst from someone. Or someone who needs some food NOW. Thanks again for your continued inspirational writings.

    Amen Joel!

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