Vision

(sermon 3/26/17)

eyes

As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.” The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.

Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him.

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”

=====

There are a lot of different ways to prepare a sermon. The way I generally start out it is to read the scripture several times and try to find, out of any number of different possibilities, the one key point, the one single message that God seems to be drawing me toward, that I want to emphasize in the sermon. I work on that thought until I can come up with a single “Sermon in a Sentence” that captures the real essence of what I want to stay focused on, and then that guides me as I develop the sermon, so I never get too far away from that point. I told a parishioner one time that that was the way I did it, and he said to me, “Well if that’s the case, on Sunday mornings why don’t you just tell us that single sentence and save us all a lot of time?”

That led to a whole different conversation about why that wouldn’t work, but in a way I wish it would this morning – because our gospel text this morning, as wonderful and intriguing as it is, is very long, and it doesn’t lend itself to cutting down without losing a lot of its meaning, so by the time you read through the whole thing, there isn’t a lot of time to preach about it if you want to get out of church on time. And that’s a shame, because this is such a rich story, and there are so many great themes that you could preach about it. There are just so many great theological points; the characters are so interesting; the story has a number of interesting aspects, of this story that plays out after Jesus’ initial healing of the blind man. There’s the disbelief of the townspeople; the division and outrage of the religious leaders; the fear of the healed man’s parents and their trying to cover their own butts; the healed man ridiculing and throwing shade at the religious leaders; and his ultimate profession of faith that Jesus was Lord.

And it all flows from Jesus giving the man his vision – vision that, we see as the story moves on, goes beyond just the physical, but was much deeper – he could see through the hypocrisy and all the rabbit holes that the religious leaders were trying to get him to go down. Just as a side note, notice that Jesus didn’t ask the man a bunch of qualifying questions before healing him. It doesn’t even appear that the man was even looking to be healed; he just happened to have been at the right place at the right time. Jesus just healed him.

It seems to me that at the core of this story is the idea that just as with the blind man, God loves us and works to heal us, and continually working to give us that same kind of vision that he gave the blind man – wherever we might be in our lives, even without our expecting it, or frankly, maybe not even wanting it.

I suspect that all of us have experienced sometime in our lives when we didn’t feel whole. Something was missing. We were out of sync with the universe, or with the people around us. Maybe you’re lonely. Or you’ve lost a relationship, or you’re broken a relationship – with a spouse, a partner, a parent or child, whatever. Maybe you’re been in the middle of a health crisis – you just got a discouraging diagnosis, or you’re facing a risky surgery. Maybe it’s a financial situation – you’re constantly living paycheck to paycheck, knowing that you’re always just one emergency expense away from financial disaster. Whatever the details, in the midst of the situation you feel almost suffocated, almost drowning in dread and depression. Everything is dark; everything is just grey. There’s no joy. There’s no hope. And you just can’t see any way out.

And then, in some inexplicable, unexpected way, something happened. Some little thing, or a series of things, fell into place, and led to a way, some way, out of it. It was like your eyes were opened, and you saw the situation in a new and hopeful way. And you found wholeness again. The truth for us is that out of love for us, God is continually working this way, restoring us, bringing us more and more into wholeness.

If that’s happened to you, maybe tight in the middle of all that you clearly sensed the divine. Maybe you immediately recognized it as a “God Moment.” Or maybe it was only over time, after you looked back on the situation with perfect 20/20 hindsight, and you recognized God in the situation.

Or then again, maybe you didn’t. Sometimes we can’t, or we don’t, allow ourselves to admit that when things like that happen, that it’s evidence of God’s presence, and God’s working within us. Comparing it back to the story, it would be as if Jesus healed the blind man by putting mud over his eyes and told him to go wash it off, but he never washed it off to realize he’d already been healed.

This Lenten season, we’re all called to refocus and reflect on our faith. As part of that, this week, I invite you to think about these things. Ask yourself if there are things in your life that you want to ask God to heal; things that you would want God to restore within you. Think back over your past, and ask yourself if in hindsight, you can see that God was at work within some situation and had healed or restored something in your life. And consider, too, whether maybe there’s something in your life right now that God actually is working to restore, to heal, but you’ve just got to recognize it and accept it – that you’ve got wash in the pool of Siloam, as it were, and regain your vision, and see how God has already been working within you.

I said I always start to develop a sermon by first coming up with a “Sermon in a Sentence.” But I never share that sentence with anyone, because honestly, a lot of times the point that other people draw out of a sermon isn’t anything at all like what I think I’m preaching about. In reality, everyone has to come up with their own “Sermon in a Sentence.” This morning, out of all the possible things that could be drawn out of today’s long gospel text, I chose to focus in on the one small thought of God’s ongoing healing work in our lives, and inviting us all to examine where God may be working in our lives, healing something within us, too.  But it’s OK if the story takes you in other directions. As you hear this story, try to ask yourself what part of this story speaks to you. What do you hear God calling your attention to, when you read how Jesus reached out in love and compassion, and told the blind man – and by extension, tells you – “Here’s mud in your eye.”

Thanks be to God.

A New Normal (sermon 8/21/16)

normal offramp

Now Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God.

But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.”But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing. – Luke 13:10-17 (NRSV)

=====

She stepped into the synagogue along with the rest of them, all headed to the same places on the benches that wrapped around the sidewalls of the synagogue where they sat every Sabbath day. She was doubled over, to the point that she could hardly see who was around her, and even though her infirmity would have made her stick out like a sore thumb to a stranger, to most of these people she’d become almost invisible out of familiarity, like a billboard that you pass on the highway every day that you eventually don’t even notice no matter how outrageous the actual advertisement. She didn’t like that fact, but she’d gotten used to it and made do, and there really wasn’t anything she could do about it, anyway. This was her reality, her normal. So like everyone else there that day, she quietly made her way to her seat, just like every other Sabbath.

But we know this story; we just heard it – in fact, this day was different from all the others, because this day, Jesus was there, and even if most of the people around her didn’t notice her, he did, and he called her over. And after laying hands on her, and blessing her, he tells her that she’s healed. And in a scene faked by countless bad TV preachers in the years since, she actually stands up straight, and gives thanks to God.

I wonder what was going through her mind during all this. She’d long ago accepted living with her impairment. Really – she’d undoubtedly heard about Jesus’ reputation as a healer, but when she got to the synagogue that day, she didn’t seek him out or ask him to heal her; he had to call out to her. I wonder if at first, she had misgivings about even going over to him. I wonder, when Jesus said that her ailment was gone, if her first unspoken thought was “Yeah, right.” I wonder if she’d become so familiar with, and accustomed to, life from her own eye level, from her own vantage point, that she wasn’t even sure, after all this time, whether she’d actually even want to have to define a “new normal.” I wonder if she wasn’t even a bit frightened about the possibility of what changes might lie ahead for her.

Still, she’d heard about this Galilean rabbi – that his words stirred people’s hearts, and that he was a miracle worker. So trusting in him, she slowly, cautiously straightened her back, each moment braced against a pain that never came, until she was standing up straight, looking right into Jesus’ smiling eyes.

Now if this story were a movie, it’s at this point that we hear the ominous, foreboding music. Depending on your age, you might hear heavy music out of an old Western, or maybe Star Wars, or maybe even one of the Jason Bourne movies, but whatever soundtrack you hear in your head, you know this music means that the bad guy is about to appear, and that’s just what happens. In this case, it’s the leader of the synagogue, who’s irate that this healing took place on the Sabbath.

Almost every time a religious leader shows up in a gospel story, they’re the villain, which should give pause to every Presbyterian minister and elder, and this story is no exception to that rule. According to this religious leader’s interpretation of the scriptures, of the Law, healing was defined as work, and so it was considered forbidden on the Sabbath, which was supposed to be a day of rest and giving thanks to God, and when work of any kind was prohibited. So he steps in to put a stop to this outrage. And by the way, ladies, did you notice what he did? Or was it so subtle that it went by unnoticed? When this leader of the synagogue step up to criticize what was going on, he didn’t criticize Jesus, the guy who’d actually done the healing. He did what I suppose the men always did – he blamed the woman! And all she’d actually done was just show up for the day. Typical, I suppose.

In fairness to the leader of the synagogue, he really was just trying to preserve the scriptural teachings and understandings that he’d internalized since he was a young child, and which had been the norm for some 1,500-odd years at that time. He was simply trying to do the right thing, based on what he’d always been taught. But Jesus told him that God’s actual intention behind a Sabbath day of rest was something very different, something much bigger than that understanding – and that in trying to uphold the letter of the Law that strictly, that rigorously, instead of listening for its spirit, the religious leaders had actually ended up missing almost the whole point. In a way, the leader of the synagogue was suffering from a limiting impairment just as much as the woman. The comfortable familiarity and acceptance of his limited way of seeing things had made it just as hard for him to imagine any other kind of reality, any “new normal,” as it was for her.

We can get caught in the same kind of thing, too. We can become set in our ways, our familiar habits and thought patterns and expectations creating a default “normal” for us, a set way of seeing and understanding and making sense of our lives. And when something happens to challenge or question those familiar defaults, it can be just as unsettling for us as it was for the woman in the story and the leader of the synagogue. 

But whether we like it or not, God seems to always be calling us to something new, something different; to some broader, fuller way of understanding the Kingdom of God and what it means to live as its people. This is true for us as individuals, in our personal lives of faith, and it’s definitely true for us together, as this community of faith.

So maybe sometime this week, just as a thought exercise, I want to suggest this: Think about some of the habits or assumptions that you hold onto that help to define your default “normal.”   It’s OK, you can start out identifying simple little things, maybe even insignificant things in the grand scheme of things, just to get the ball rolling. Maybe it’s something like that fact that every morning, when you step into the shower, you always start by washing your left arm. Or maybe it’s that every morning, as you’re making your instant oatmeal, you have to shake the measuring cup twelve times – not eleven, not thirteen – to get all the excess water out of it. And yes, if you’re wondering, I just shared two little examples of my own habits and weirdness with you.  So see, I got the ball rolling; now you try it. But after you think of the little things, maybe think about the more serious things, too. Are there default thoughts or actions that are limiting your experience of the fullness of God’s creation and God’s will for your life? Are there similar self-limiting things that we can identify in the life of the church? And then, if we can identify those limiting things, can we, with God’s help, be willing to accept a new normal?

By now, you’ve figured out that’s why I asked you to move from your normal seats this morning, and to sit somewhere you normally never would. It’s just a very small reminder to us to always be open to hearing and experiencing the Kingdom of God from a different vantage point, from a different eye level. And to always be open to new, exciting possibilities that God has in store for us, and for the church, as God moves us forward.

Just remember, if it was a little discomforting to move your seats this morning, it was discomforting for the woman in our story to move from her seat, too. But look at the new opportunities that were opened up for her because she did. Realize that just because Jesus called her to move out of her seat, and she did, we’re still talking about her, and learning from her, 2,000 years later. Just imagine what seemingly small thing might God be calling us toward that might ultimately cause someone to be talking about us, 2,000 years from now?

Thanks be to God.

 

 

Repent! (Sermon 3/30/14)

https://enarcheblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/4dba6-_mg_2506.jpg

John 9:1-41

 As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.” The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.

Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him.

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

*****

I don’t know for sure, but this might be the longest Lectionary text in the whole three-year cycle. Maybe it isn’t, but it sure seems like it. It’s really tempting to cut it short, and just highlight one snip of it or another. But I usually try not to do that, because really, the whole thing is such a great story. I mean, there’s a little bit of everything in there – a miracle, drama, intrigue, family dysfunction, people covering their own butts, powerful people behaving badly, and there’s even a little humor thrown in as the healed man tweaks the noses of the religious leaders, just as icing on the cake. It really is a great story – but it’s more than a story, too; it’s full of enough theological issues and questions to stir up more than a month’s worth of sermons. Does God really give people ailments or problems to punish them for their sins, or the sins of their parents, as the disciples think? Would God really make someone suffer a lifetime of being blind just to make some point some day when he’s an adult? Couldn’t God figure out a more humane way to make the same point? Why did Jesus need to make mud with his spit to heal the man? Besides the fact that it’s just gross, he seems to have been perfectly able to heal other people without any special props or theatrics. And what about the blind man himself? In other gospel passages, Jesus isn’t able to work any miracles because the people don’t have enough faith, but this poor guy doesn’t exhibit any faith at all. He just seems to be sitting around begging, minding his own business until Jesus comes along and heals him. It isn’t until the very end of the story, after everything else plays out, that Jesus seeks the man out again and he actually expresses any faith in Jesus.

Since repentance is today’s theme on our “Cross-bound” Lenten journey, I tried to consider where repentance might show up in this story. I suppose we could assume that the blind man decides to repent from the sinful aspects of his life, as part of his believing in Jesus and worshiping him. But really, repentance just doesn’t seem to be a big thing in the blind man’s story. Maybe his story is a better reflection of how God comes to us seeks us out, before we ever seek God, or ask God to come to us or help us, before we can even see God. Maybe Jesus’ healing of the blind man is a way for us to understand why we baptize infants and small children, like we’ll do in the 10:00 service today – that baptism is a sign of God’s coming to us, and making a covenant with us, not the other way around – that baptism is not a sign of what we’re doing, but what God has already done.

Still, as I continued to think about this story, I the idea of repentance does come into play, but in a reverse way, a negative way – it shows up in the repentance that doesn’t happen, on the part of the religious leaders in the story.

So what’s going on with them? We’ve heard this story and others like it so many times, we’ve been trained to automatically understand the religious leaders, the Pharisees, the scribes, of Jesus’ time as the bad guys. As soon as you hear them mentioned, you can almost hear ominous music in the background. Picture Jews in black cowboy hats or something. But if we take ourselves out of our normal frame of reference for just a minute – if we take off our “Jesus glasses, if we look at the story without imagining these religious leaders on one side, and the healed man and Jesus on the other side, and knowing that we know we’re always supposed to be on Jesus’ side, what were these religious leaders saying? What were they doing? All they were doing was trying to uphold the standards of the faith that had been handed down to them. All they were doing was trying to maintain the sanctity of the Sabbath, and to honor the clear content of the scriptures. Jesus healing this man on the Sabbath was a violation of the multiple, clear-cut prohibition of working on the Sabbath. This was one of the primary moral rules of the faith, so if Jesus didn’t uphold it, how could he possibly be of God? Surely he had to be opposed, in order to stand up for the holy lifestyle that God calls us to in the scriptures.

These religious leaders weren’t really bad people. They were actually what most of us would consider good people – honorable, religious people who thought that what they were doing was right in the eyes of God, that they were upholding an important moral standard in the name of God. But no matter the fact that they had good intentions, Jesus still ultimately criticized them, and called their actions blind, and sin.

It’s easy for us to read this story and understand with perfect hindsight that Jesus was telling them that they were missing the point; that by paying such rigorous attention to the letter of the Law in the scriptures, that they were blinding themselves to God’s actual purpose behind it all – that of God’s love and mercy, and extending that love and mercy to others. In this miracle, and others as well, Jesus made the point that love and mercy and grace the real goal, even when that meant bending what was so clear-cut in the black and white of the written scriptures. Jesus’ point in this story is that they needed to repent from their rigid and counterproductive ways, in order to see God’s real intent.

It’s easy for us to see that in this story. But the truth is that this same story has played out time and time again throughout the history of our faith. Time and time again, we, both as individuals and as the church, have had to learn the same lesson that these well-intentioned religious leaders in Jesus’ time had to learn. Time and time again, we’ve had to repent for our clinging to form over substance, to Law over Gospel. And the closer it gets to our own time, and our own lives, here and now, the harder it can be to see.

There’s a Christian charitable organization called World Vision, which does wonderful good works for the poorest, neediest of children around the globe. World Vision found themselves in the news this past week when they announced that even though as an organization they were very conservative theologically themselves, they had decided to change their hiring policies to permit the hiring of gay and lesbian employees, even those who might be part of a legally performed same-sex marriage. In their announcement, they said that while they maintained their scriptural interpretation that these potential employees were living in sinful ways, they realized that not all Christians agreed with that traditional interpretation. And that, in fact, in some way or another, we were all living in sinful ways. And they wanted to show the spirit of Christian unity even within the broad diversity of the faith, to show that very different people can come together in this faith to share Christ’s love with others.

Unfortunately, that new policy didn’t sit well with a lot of World Vision’s financial supporters – people who had signed on to help sponsor the care of a needy child somewhere in the world. They accused World Vision of throwing out the Bible with the bathwater, of not upholding the clear moral teachings of the faith. Some of them even went so far as to say that based on this decision, they weren’t even really Christian anymore. And in their moral indignation, in order to take a stand for what they saw as God’s standards, these supporters decided to pull their funding. They chose to stop supporting the children they’d made a commitment to, to stop supporting the good work of a good organization, because in their eyes, the charity was violating the clear teaching of scripture. The blowback was so intense that within just one day of their announcement, World Vision announced that it had changed its mind, and in order to make its critics happy, it would continue in its discriminatory hiring practices.

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

As we continue through the Lenten season, this Sunday we think about repentance. Repentance within ourselves as individuals, when we make the same mistake as the religious leaders in this story, paying more attention to Law than to Gospel. And repentance when we do the same thing collectively as the church. This Lenten season, let’s pray that where we’re blind, that Jesus would heal us, and be the light of the world for us, and give us vision just as he did with the blind man in this story. And let’s pray that the vision we would have for the world would be Jesus’ world vision, and not someone else’s.

Thanks be to God.