New Sight, New Life

May 3, 2020

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

4th Sunday of Easter – Year A
John 10:1-10

Gospel Text: Read the rest of this entry »

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

The Fourth Sunday in Lent – Year A RCL

1 Samuel 16:1-13, Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41

 

Last year, as part of my World Religion class at seminary we went to the Al-Farooq Mosque, on 14th Street in Midtown Atlanta, for Friday afternoon prayers. One of our guides was an active lay-minister and often preached the English-language sermon on Friday’s, which he did that day.

At one point he mentioned that whatever condition a person is born into, whether into poverty or into wealth, for example, it has its own burden to navigate. It is incumbent on each person to spend their life in prayer to God, seeking the proper use of their wealth, or seeking a way to overcome or endure their poverty.

In this same way, I believe, we are each born into circumstances of life that we must navigate. For the man in today’s gospel reading, he was born blind. Others, like my friend Claire, have been born deaf; still others are born with a predisposition for addiction; others with chemical imbalances in the brain that cause depression or anxiety; some with learning challenges, like dyslexia; and the list goes on and on.

In ancient times, being born with blindness or other debilitating conditions was believed to be a judgment by God for having sinned. But, we see in his conversation with the disciples, that Jesus dispels this notion.

I contend that in the same way that these physical conditions aren’t caused by sin, sin also doesn’t cause someone to be born into poverty any more than a lack of sin causes someone to be born into wealth. And while both have their challenges, if given the choice, I’m sure we’d much rather struggle with the burden of WEALTH.

But returning to the story of the man born blind, Jesus says that he “was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.” Similarly, each condition into which we are born can also provide an opportunity for God’s work to be revealed in us.

But, just as with this man, it isn’t automatic, and it isn’t without risk and consequence.

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