March 22, 2020
The gospel lesson for this morning is the entire 9th chapter of the Gospel of St. John, much to long for a short daily message. In summary, then, it is the story of “The Man Born Blind.” Jesus sees him, has compassion, and heals him. The immediate result of the “sign” is mass confusion, disbelief and anger. Friends and neighbors are confused and who could blame them – restoring sight to someone who has been blind since birth is unprecedented. The religious leaders feel threatened; they question everything about what happened and about Jesus.
I think it’s easy to wonder how anyone would question the miracle, how anyone would respond with anything but joy to see a friend healed. The upheaval that the miracle brings in the story is telling, however. It’s about knowing Jesus and trusting him. Remember, in Jesus’ time there were a lot of real and legitimate questions among faithful Jews about who the Messiah would be and what he would do. It’s easier for us because we have two millennia’s worth of tradition and history in the church to lift us up in those times when we have doubt and questions.
Doubt and questions are a part of every day existence right now. So I think that at least one of the “words from the Lord” for us today is simply that no matter our situation or context, God is with us in the very person of Jesus, in the presence of the Holy Spirit and that presence brings healing and hope. We don’t need special insider information to know Jesus, to love Jesus, and to serve Jesus.
Another thought gleaned from my study of this scripture is simply that sometimes things happen that break down the nice, safe boxes that we call our normal, our comfort zones. Jesus is in the midst of these things as well. Life isn’t comfortable right now. We’re having to make a lot of changes and adjustments on every front. Yet, Jesus’ call is still to serve him by serving neighbor. So for now, though we have to practice physical distancing, we don’t have to be isolated from one another. Stay in touch and use whatever means are available to you – emails, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, text messages and actual phone calls. I learned to do Facetime so I’m sure you can too!
To see our abbreviated worship, go to YouTube and plug in St. Matthew Lutheran Church.
Let us pray.
Bend your ear to our prayers, Lord Christ, and come among us. By your gracious life and death for us, bring light into the darkness of our hearts, and anoint us with your Spirit, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
ELW Prayer of the Day, 4th Sunday in Lent