17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.
This is a part of the Gospel for Morning Prayer this morning. I have never met one of these people who can drink deadly things, or preach with poisonous snakes in their hands. I have heard of them in the South part of the United States, where they preach. The laying on of hands for cures of all types of sickness I have seen on TV, but have never talked to a person that has been cured. I have been to a service where the people were talking in tongues, but no one could interpret what they were saying. They did sound good and did add to the service, but it did not benefit the hearers. I have talked to people who have been cured from Cancer by a community of prayer. Also those who say that the surgeon told them that they felt the prayers of their community and it had helped the operation. These cures are few and I look for solid manifestations when I am very tired. When the work I am doing seem to be worthless. When my energy is low and I am weak, then it is at those times I need a good story about direct intervention of God. It is at those times that I need a message from my community that prayer has worked that Christ is alive and assured of his resurrection. This kind of healing I have been a part of. I have seen whole communities healed and given new life in Christ. I know that a praying community has the kind of healing that Mark is talking about. So I will continue to take my seat in the congregation and pray within the community for healing. ForJesus s confirming the message by signs to this very day.