First a confession: It is Friday morning and my sermon for Sunday evening is still unwritten. I would like to say this is unusual, but then I would be lying:)
A sermon is percolating as I sit, think and pray over John 9:1-41. Lots of questions come to mind when I read this text—how did Jesus immediately know this man was blind from birth? What’s up with the loogies and mud? And there is whole array of theological questions that can be asked as well.
If you know me, you know I am all about relationships which is why verses 8 and 9 urk me so much. Why don’t those in the community recognize him? Did they never really see him before, just passing by him and never give a second glance? Did they only recognize him because of his disability?
And while I am about relationships, would I be any different? (Of course, we all want to take the higher road and say, “Yes”, but I doubt I would). There are lots in our communities we don’t see and others we see and judge only by what they can or can’t do.
Last night, as part of their annual meeting, GEDCO had asked those they service (older adults and formerly homeless) and those who support them to participate in a Talent show of sorts. So, between the voting and normal business of the evening, those in attendance were quite entertained. (Kudos to a youth from our church and one of his friends who played guitar and sang “Down Under” by Men at Work. They did an awesome job). All who performed did a great job, but there was one woman who was AMAZING!
This woman had an amazing voice—so amazing, that folks at my table thought she go out for American Idol. She is also someone who has received assistance from GEDCO in her times of need. It wasn’t till she left the stage, as other stood to give her a standing ovation and greeted her with hugs that I wondered, How has she been judged by her community which is our community? Do we now think different of her now because we know she has amazing voice (or because he can see)? Do we think differently because they are more like us?
I am not really sure where I am going with all this or even if I will take this direction in my sermon, but reading this text has given me pause—-and for that I am grateful.