Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of the 5th Week in Lent: Year 1
“The man answered, ‘Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes.”
As you can see, I want to continue with our John Gospel readings. This Gospel story of the man born blind fascinates me. He stands up to the Pharisees knowing that he could be thrown out of the synagogue. His parents had the same fear. The difference is, he’s never experienced the sights of the synagogue. You can’t miss what you have never had.
This once blind man mocks the Pharisees by asking them if they too want to become disciples of Jesus. He is eventually thrown out of the synagogue. Jesus finds him and explains to him who Jesus is, the one who is speaking to him in the moment. At this point in his life, he has never seen nor heard more clearly in his life. The same is true for us when we first come to believe.
This truly is Amazing Grace. We too were blind but now we see. We were lost but now we are found. No one is beyond the reach of our Lord Jesus. It is especially sad when the people responsible for giving others hope, the clergy, be they Pharisee, Rabbi, Imam, priests or any kind of faith leader, refuses to see what is happening right in front of their eyes. We need to realize that God will act through whom God will act. We can’t pick for God, God picks for God.
There are still know-it-all religious leaders who resist the wondrous works of God. Think about this man, Jesus didn’t “restore” his sight. Our Lord Jesus gave him sight for the first time! Many of us today are in need of a first-time sight when it comes to having unconditional love for our neighbors, all of our neighbors.
As I write this our nation is grieving over the loss of life in horrific murders in Georgia and Colorado. There is much concern about why this happens. We should be heartbroken about any persons murdered regardless of their ethnicity. We need to stamp out racism because in God’s eyes it does not exist. Any faith community that promotes or supports race based initiatives fails to see people as God sees us. I am what most people would call a black man, or man of color. To this race label, I say no. I am John, a person who happens to have a brown skin color. Culturally, (and we do get to choose our culture no matter what we look like), I consider myself a Christian American cowboy who walks the Anglican, Episcopal, path. I only realized this about myself when my Lord Jesus opened my eyes about myself some forty years ago. And yes, for me, this is an astonishing thing! You too can be your most loving self regardless of the color of your skin. Work with our Lord Jesus as did this man born blind. Jesus will open your eyes to the life that best suits you. You will then have real vision for the first time. Thank You Lord Jesus.
Let us live to love, more than we just love to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John