Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Bethany Bullet - April 5, 2011

Something OLD and something NEW confronts us in worship weekly. During the season of Lent we will explore how these two texts intersect. (Please read from your Bible these passages or click on the passage for the online link.)

In the ancient world there was no cure for being born without sight or for being stigmatized for being born last. In both readings the central character is not spoken of by his name but by his pain. In fact on seven occasions in John 9 when this man is spoken of he is referred to by his blindness. “He was born blind,” and “He was blind from birth.” The only time he is identified for something other than being blind, is when they call him a beggar, “For he used to sit at the temple and ask for alms.” In the end, we never learn his name.

The individual in 1 Samuel 16 is also unnamed at first. After Jesse’s sons have passed by Samuel (each named mind you) and God has passed over on any of them being the king; we learn of his other son. The one not important enough to invite in the first place: the youngest, the runt, the shepherd boy. As a matter of fact, we do not learn his name until we witness his anointing, “From that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power.”

How often have you been known by your pain instead of your name? How often have you been known by that which ails you rather than by that which your folks first hailed you?

-->She’s got cancer.

-->He lost his job.

-->Oh, they are having problems.

-->You know… the widow, the addict, and/or the teacher’s pet.

Both David (the king who wrote much of the Old Testament and of whom much Scripture is written) and the unnamed blind man (written of only in this one passage from John) were each blessed to see themselves in a new light. They were equally blessed to reveal the Light of God in Christ through their new identity; for both it began with an anointing.

If you are known by your pain rather than your name, if you tend to see yourself for what you lack - you need a different perspective. You need to understand that there is something far more important to know about you than your pain - it is your anointing. God’s Spirit has come on you in power, not oil or spit, but it was still wet. In the Waters of Baptism, God’s Spirit fell on you and you gained a new identity. An identity that is graced and beloved by God. Like David, you are now free to sing of His deeds and wonders. Like the man once blind you are now free to worship and adore Him, Jesus the Christ. Like David and the blind man, through you, others may be blessed to see a God that sees the internal, can change the external, and grants the eternal.

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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