A short reflection on this coming Sunday’s Gospel reading.
John 9: 1-41
A short reflection on this coming Sunday’s Gospel reading. John 9: 1-41
What a long reading! But a good one. Jesus is asked whose sin had caused this man to be born blind. Was the man sinful in a previous life (which we dont have) or was it his parents? What do you think? Does God inflict blindness, pestilence or disaster on people as a punishment for their sin? Did I fall ill recently due to sin? Jesus is clear, nobody’s sin had caused this man’s blindness. The illness was not a punishment from God. But Jesus did take the opportunity to make the man well and show that God cares for us as we suffer. God wants to work with us to take the dreadful things of this world and make them new. However today is also Mothering Sunday. Does this fit in with it in anyway?
Maybe in our attitudes and actions? As to how they should be when we see the hurting, the broken and the sick. Well if I think of my mother and the way she cares and cared for her four sons sometimes despite our wrong behaviour and attitudes and the care she shows for others, and the unconditional love she poured on us. It was and is beautiful love. And God our father is the source of all true love. He is love. And God the Son poured out his life for us, while we were still sinners, and what a life changing moment that was for me thirty something years ago. And we have God the Holy Spirit who longs to dwell in us and bless us and he does so if we invite Him in and we allow him to guide us and empower us. And if we do, then we truly do become part of his church, his body on earth. And the Church in its wholeness is often called the ‘Mother Church’, and its call is to love and care for all. And that does not just mean the Church establishment, but it means you and I.
In today’s reading the Jewish religious elite don’t seem to grasp this and the vastness of God’s love and grace. The blind man born blind is said to have been blind due to His sin, or generational sin. Sadly we still at times hear that today. Finger pointing and claims that some are getting what they deserve. Some other religions also agree with that and call in Karma. I’m so glad that is not true. Of course sickness and death have their origin through the fall of mankind, and certain wrong life styles and behaviours can cause illness. Too much alcohol for example will wreck your liver, smoking may wreck your lungs, we can’t deny that. But it’s not the full picture and you and I will maybe not ever know the full picture as to the causes of an individual’s suffering. I have met and worked with some absolutely beautiful yet broken people, their skin yellow because of liver disease, but yet great in loving others. But, nevertheless we are all called to love and care, and pray and at times see and expect to see the miraculous, but not to judge the struggling. Our God is so gracious. I am so thankful that he doesn’t give us what we deserve. The hymn amazing grace comes to mind, written by John Newton a slave trader, his eyes were opened to see his own sinfulness and recognise God’s love for him in Jesus. Resulting in dramatic change and attitude not only to his own worth but the worth of others, and he became an ordained minister in London. There are obvious other examples such as Mother Teresa, and there will be many more that you and I won’t know about because they have done it in secret.
Let’s ensure we know the love God has for us, and ask him to fill us anew with His Spirit , that we may see more like He sees and we may reach out to others more like He does. And we may also see the wonders that He can do through and at times do through us with miracles of healing, be it spiritual, emotional or physical. Let’s believe and step out and be the mother church we are called to be especially in this season of struggle with the coronavirus. Let us please try to love our neighbours as much as we can and pray for God’s healing for them and our nation in Jesus’ powerful name. Amen