Reading time: two minutes. Wellness is when the healing touch of Christ restores the joy of what’s broken in my life. Whether it’s my relationships, my finances or my physical health, brokenness saps the joy right out, but the grace of Christ that repairs my brokenness results in a joy that says, “Jesus did that! Thank you, Lord!” Last week we used the phrase “substantial healing” to suggest that wellness and healing are never quite complete this side of heaven, but it is substantial Here are a couple of thoughts about the way Jesus is always at work restoring my life with God. Michelangelo suggested in his “Creation of Adam” that the greatest expression of what it means to be human is to know God. That little gap between the finger of God and Adam’s finger tells the tale of separation from God. When Jesus bridged the gap, life in contact with God was restored. In the Large Catechism, Luther suggests that the gap between us and God is daily in need of bridging, and the instrument of God to bring us near, day by day, is His Holy Word. I don’t know what you’re like in the morning, but whether you wake up fresh and perky or you wake up in need of a jolt from the defibrillator, we’re all in need of being reconnected to our Lord each day. We’re constantly hounded by the old sinful nature that leads us away. Every day we’re in need of the voice of Jesus to call us back. And God’s Word not only calls us, it carries us back to the Father. The Law of the Lord stops us in our tracks, causes us to call out across the gap, “Heal me, Lord!” The Gospel not only describes that healing, but it heals, restores and forgives. Every dive into the Lord’s Word is an encounter with His healing touch. It’s not perfect healing. We still live with our doubts and fears and the curse of temptation. But it is a substantial healing. My reading this morning was Luke 15: the sheep, the coin, the wandering son. Those moments with my Father were more than morning story time for me. He was there, carrying me back on His shoulders, sweeping everywhere until He found me, joyfully running to meet me. I had every reason to start today carrying on where I left off yesterday, but He found me, welcomed and embraced me, and it was a new beginning. Yesterdays hurts, disappointments and regrets were left behind because the healing touch of His presence was a substantial healing. Welcome His touch. Thanks for reading. Do you serve in a multiple staff setting in a church, Lutheran school, university or social service ministry? Discover how a Ministry Team Wellness Workshop can help enhance your team ministry by building the unity, spiritual life and communication essential to partnership in ministry. Contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman for more information.