the tentmaker

daily thoughts on the common lectionary

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Location: Sharpsburg, Georgia, United States

"...because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together — by trade they were tentmakers." Acts 18:3. Tentmaker is a title taken by bi-vocational pastors. As such, I am both a pastor and a project manager. I am a pastor of a local congregation of moderate, accepting and affirming people who worship in the Baptist tradition. We call our church "Hope Memorial Baptist" and we are about 40 in number. I am also a project manager of major construction projects for the State of Georgia. My home and church is in rural Coweta County, between Peachtree City and Newnan, with a mailing address of Sharpsburg, Georgia.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Year A - Lent 4

Once I was Blind, But Now I See

Liturgy of the Word:
1 Samuel 16:1-13
Psalm 23
Ephesians 5:8-14
John 9:1-41

  • Jesus was in Jerusalem
    • The Synoptics have Jesus going to Jerusalem only once
    • John tells us that Jesus went back and forth from Jerusalem many times
  • He has been teaching in the courtyard of the Temple
    • The Jews were astonished at his teaching
    • He tells them not to judge by appearances
    • Man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh on the heart.
    • Jesus says to them,
    • I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness
    • And he says,
    • If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
    • The Jews accused him of being possessed by a demon
    • They picked up stones with which to stone him
    • But Jesus slipped past them in the crowd and left the Temple
What does it mean to see
  • It is the sense of sight
    • To see the world around us
    • To see the beauty of God’s creation
  • But it also means to understand
    • I see what you mean
    • Jesus is the Light of the world
      • He is the agent by which God makes all things known

      • When we see Jesus
        • We have seen the Love of God
        • We have seen the salvation of God
        • We see hope for the world
        • We see hope for ourselves
Jesus and the Blind man
  • Who sinned, this man or his parents?
  • Infirmity and illness was the result of sin
    • It could be the sin of the person who is ill
    • Or it could be the sin of the parents, grandparents or other ancestor
  • Jesus puts to rest the notion that illness or calamity is the result of sin
    • Our human condition is not the punishment of God
    • Our condition is the consequence of the cumulative choices we make in our lifetime
      • Sometimes we make good choices
      • Sometimes we make bad choices
  • The man was blind from birth
    • He had never seen the light of day
    • Modern science has been successful in restoring sight to a once sighted person on certain occasions
    • Modern science has not been able to give sight to a person who has never ever seen
    • They cannot make an artificial eye that will send light signals to the brain and duplicate the sensation of sight
  • What Jesus did here was truly remarkable
  • The Jews didn’t believe that the man who could see was in fact the same man who had sat on the street begging
I was blind but now I see
  • The Jews interrogated the parents, twice
    • They wanted them to say that this man was not their son
    • They wanted them to praise God for the miracle
    • They wanted any statement that would discredit Jesus with the performance of this miracle
  • They interrogated the man himself

    • They interrogated him twice
    • They accused Jesus of being a sinner

    • Meaning he was incapable of performing miracles because of his sin
    • I do not know if this man is a sinner, what I do know is that I was blind, but now I see.
Amazing Grace
  • Jesus stands as the Light of the world
  • Won’t you come to that light
    • For Jesus is the light that shines in the darkness of illness and despair
    • It is through him that we can truly see the salvation of God
    • It is through him that we can truly see the Love of God
    • And it is through him that his light shines through us for us to become the Light to the world around us
    • It is because of the Love of God in Christ Jesus and his saving grace for us even while we are sinners, that inspired John Newton to pen these words:
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.

Thanks be to God


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