Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 22: Year 2
“And he answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them.” (Luke 7: 22)
Jesus could have just said “Yes, I am the one.” But there is a lesson in paying attention to what we see and hear. The two disciples of John would have been well aware of their Isaiah scripture where it says, “Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.” (Isaiah 35: 4 to 6) This is almost verbatim of what Jesus reminded John’s disciples of in our Luke reading for today.
We can’t realize our scriptures are being lived out right in our presence unless we first know our scriptures. It is when we articulate what we have seen and heard in our own life stories that we realize that God in Christ is working in our lives in the same ways as of old.
I think I should confess to my readers that I am and optimist. I think Christian hope has shaped me this way. I believe the world is getting better more and more. I know that I live in a world of nay-sayers who will say it’s never been this bad and will say it’s getting worse. But I don’t accept that. The improvements are small and incremental but better none the less.
The incremental steps of being better are often bitter. We are experiencing the “Me Too Movement” now. This movement is putting a light on sexual harassment and abuse. It has been happening all during human existence. But now there will be consequences that will reduce it. We have the “Black Lives Matter Movement” now. Again, racial discrimination is a social sickness and unchristian. People of all shades of skin color are behind this movement. Yay!
Our eyes are being opened, we are learning to walk in new ways, and we are given hope for a better world. We have had a man of color as President of the United States. At this writing we have a woman of color running for Vice President. These progressive and just steps have come as the result of the labors of people who follow in the example of John the Baptist who sent his disciples to ask Jesus about whether or not He was the one. We have the late Martin Luther King Jr., the Most Reverend Desmond Tutu, and former President Jimmy Carter to mention a few, too few. My point is that we have people among us who still follow the example of John the Baptist and our Lord Jesus in making our world better, little by little. These saints speak to us today, not so much with their words, but rather, with their personal sacrifice for a better world; and folks, it’s happening! I hope this is good news brought to you.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John