Sirach 38:1-15 Honor physicians for their services, for the Lord created them; 2 for their gift of healing comes from the Most High, and they are rewarded by the king. 3 The skill of physicians makes them distinguished, and in the presence of the great they are admired.People have looked up to doctors for a long time, as this passage from Ecclesiasticus [or Sirach] reveals.
4 The Lord created medicines out of the earth, and the sensible will not despise them. 5 Was not water made sweet with a tree in order that its power might be known? 6 And he gave skill to human beings that he might be glorified in his marvelous works. 7 By them the physician heals and takes away pain; 8 the pharmacist makes a mixture from them. God's works will never be finished; and from him health spreads over all the earth.
9 My child, when you are ill, do not delay, but pray to the Lord, and he will heal you. 10 Give up your faults and direct your hands rightly, and cleanse your heart from all sin. 11 Offer a sweet-smelling sacrifice, and a memorial portion of choice flour, and pour oil on your offering, as much as you can afford.
12 Then give the physician his place, for the Lord created him; do not let him leave you, for you need him. 13 There may come a time when recovery lies in the hands of physicians, 14 for they too pray to the Lord that he grant them success in diagnosis and in healing, for the sake of preserving life.
15 He who sins against his Maker, will be defiant toward the physician.
So I was pretty disturbed today when I heard that some of those would-be bombers in the UK are doctors, and a Brisbane, Australia doctor has also been apprehended in connection with this terrorist plot. Can you imagine a person who is pledged to save life being involved in bombing others?
Then, I read about a great Aussie doctor, RAG Holmes, in This Life, the Sydney Morning Herald obituary column, who was also a great musician.
And then, during my trip home from Penrith, to visit my daughter and my two grandsons, I heard a minister who used to be a doctor [which reminds me of the joke about the plumber who used to be a doctor] talking about how in his former occupation, he was often frustrated that people wouldn't change their behaviour. Now he is a minister, this still bothers him. He said that there is a lot of talk about topical preaching and expository preaching.
He said he would like to introduce a new genre: suppository preaching. Preaching that leads to movement!