Our now retired and beloved priest had a habit of emphasizing to Whom he or his sermon pointed – not our goodness, not our daily striving, not our prayers, not our church attendance, but all, all is to point to God, the Creator, the Lord of hosts.
This is what struck my shallow mind as I read the passages below as well as the links. Our lives are not lived for us or anyone else. We live pointing to God. As we do, all will be well (Julian of Norwich), God is glorified, those in need are served, and we will triumph in our travails.
“Pointing” is not a noisy ministry. To me, this is a ministry of intention, of active faith, meeting needs without judgement where they are, knowing, trusting God, a minute by minute dedication of life to God.
How do I point to God? I’m just little old me, doing nothing very important every day, trying to get by on this earth. Follow the blind man in the John story. The story of Jesus‘s healing is below this quote, but this is the crucial part of the story, IMHO (in my humble opinion).
13 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.
What I find incredibly interesting, relevant, and courageous to us today is the sincere witness of the formerly blind man. This “uneducated” man knows the intent of Scripture, more than the letter, and for this insight as well as his testimony, is put out of the Temple. More scholarly persons than I can speak to what it meant for a Jew to be put out of Temple in that time; it was not a good thing for one socially or spiritually.
This man, more intelligent than given credit by those educated in the Law, knows the consequence of his truth-telling – but he regards the Truth with reverence – he has experienced a completely life changing event! He can SEE…for him, he cannot go back to that place where he could not see.
So it is for us. Once we see the light, love of Jesus pointing to the glory of God the Father/Mother, how can we go back to a humdrum existence? The God of the Universe is on our side; He has reached down, touched our hearts, making us aware Jesus died for us so we could follow Him.
Jesus points to God. To whom or what does your life point?
John 9:1-12,35-38 (NRSV)
As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ 3 Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’ 6 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, 7 saying to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. 8 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?’ 9Some were saying, ‘It is he.’ Others were saying, ‘No, but it is someone like him.’ He kept saying, ‘I am the man.’ 10 But they kept asking him, ‘Then how were your eyes opened?’ 11He 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.’ 12 They said to him, ‘Where is he?’ He said, ‘I do not know.’
35 Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ 36 He answered, ‘And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.’ 37 Jesus said to him, ‘You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.’ 38 He said, ‘Lord, I believe.’ And he worshiped him.
- Here’s Spit in yer Eye/ Blind spots (tithebarn.wordpress.com)
- Here’s Mud in your Eyes (jerrywood13.wordpress.com)
- Life of Christ – Part 13 – Jesus Attends Two Feasts(5) – The Man Born Blind (edraby.wordpress.com)
- I was Blind (bongodogblog.com)