(by A. F. Learmont)
OSL stands for The Order of Saint Luke.
When healing is mentioned, the first thought is usually the physical state of the body, a particular ailment or affliction; thus concentration of thought is purely on the physical.
Man, however, is not wholly a physical being. Basically, he is a spiritual being. He has been created in the likeness and image of God, and God is a Spirit. God formed man out of a living soul. Thus the combination of God’s breath and the body, produced the soul of personality, often referred to as mind; the Inner Man; the Heart; and so on. So man is a trinity, consisting of spirit and soul, but all three nevertheless function as a unit. When man realizes that he is in essence a spiritual being, not just a physical entity, the power of God’s Spirit commences to operate and quicken the soul into activity. He begins to realize his entire dependence on God and that his purpose is to place all his faculties at God’s disposal to use in accordance with his divine plan.
The welfare of the soul is of prime importance, because upon it depends the welfare of the house in which it resides, namely the body. If the soul is merely stimulated by the breath of God, plus the ego, or self-will, then trouble ensues, but if it is activated by the breath of God, plus the power of the Spirit of God, which we term the Holy Spirit, then “all things work together for good” because we love God and he loves us. This is the essence of health or wholeness.
Jesus came to make us whole, not just heal. He showed us the way back to the Father so that it can be “as it was in the beginning,” if we so desire. The choice is ours.
The prayer at Holy Communion sums it up: “Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts, by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy name.”
We cannot segregate the spiritual from the physical. The body is of paramount importance because it houses the soul and spirit, and for that reason the body should receive first class care and attention. We are very careless in our behavior toward the welfare of our physical being, defying both the spiritual and natural laws of health and hygiene. We harbor hatred, jealousy, resentment, unforgiveness, all of which are poison not only to the soul but also to the physical structure, because they upset the sugar balance, the blood pressure and other normal functions of the body. Psychosomatic medicine is today confirming the truths taught by Jesus. What law are we operating under? Is it the law of health or of disease? The choice is ours.
There is nothing incompatible in having both medical attention and spiritual treatment through prayer. They are complementary one to the other and, if followed, restore the patient to wholeness, that oneness of spirit, soul, and body. Unfortunately prayer is often resorted to as a last resort, often after the doctors have professed that they can do no more. We should pray at the very first sign of trouble, even if it is only a quick, urgent call to help. We should ask his guidance in the selection of the physician or surgeon, and prayers should be offered for them and for those who assist them in any way. Then trust God and thank him for blessing all who were involved in the ministration (doctors, surgeons, nurses, and others). He was with them also, although they may not have known it. Give him thanks for all participants. Each one was a channel of his grace and healing. It is his love and grace flowing through those who minister to others that does the gracious work, that not only heals but makes whole.
The ten lepers all obeyed the command of our Lord when he told them to go and report to the priest, who was the medical officer of health in those days, and as they turned to go on their way they were all healed. Only one, realizing within himself the source of his release, turned back and gave thanks to God. Jesus said to him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. Belief prompted the action to give thanks to God, the source from which all healing emanates.
What part does OSL take in this healing ministry of the gospel of our Lord? OSL is really a combined movement of clerics and laity within the established churches for the purpose of promulgating and practicing the Ministry of Divine Healing within the church and then taking it out into everyday life. It is a ministry within the church to which the members pledge strict adherence to the rules and disciplines required, not only as members of OSL, but as members of the body of Christ. They may function together with fervency and zeal for the furtherance of his kingdom here on Earth.
While it is true that God will use any willing instrument, anytime, anyplace, he wants the best. Generally speaking, the best are those who function together as members of his body and not as isolated individuals working alone. The purpose of OSL is to restore the healing ministry to the church, to stimulate obedience to Jesus’s command: “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel and heal the sick!”