A Message from pastor Matt
A message from pastor matt
He answered, "I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see."
BUMC Family and Friends,
This verse is part of a wonderful story from the Gospel of John. One Sabbath day, Jesus and his disciples encountered a man who had been blind from birth. Seeing the man, Jesus spat in the dirt, mixed mud, and spread it on the man’s eyes. He then told the man to go wash in one of the pools of Jerusalem. When the man cleaned his eyes, his sight had been restored!
The Pharisees, the ruling religious and political leaders of the time, did not like Jesus. Jesus told people that the Pharisees had corrupt hearts and used God’s scriptures as weapons to maintain control of the population. The Pharisees wanted to get rid of Jesus. Hearing of the Sabbath day healing, they attacked Jesus by accusing him of performing work on the Sabbath–a violation of the holy scriptures. They called the healed man before them and told him that Jesus was a sinner. You can read the man’s reply above, “I don’t know if he is a sinner…but I was blind, now I see.” The Pharisees did not have a good reply because it is impossible to overcome the love and grace of God with lies, hate and anger. Jesus had seen a man in need and he simply healed him.
I think that this story is very relevant to our ever-changing and largely secular world. We look around and we lament that many parents focus their kids’ lives on sports and other activities, but don’t bring them to church. We long for the days when everything was closed on Sunday, so that people could go to church. We remember when our Sunday school wing was filled with children on Sunday mornings and when the sanctuary was packed to the gills for multiple services. We want the “good old days” back! Our culture’s attitudes toward church just aren’t right!
Well, we are in a place where we simply have to make a choice, just as Jesus did. Jesus could have chosen to wait a day to heal the man and maintained the status quo. It wouldn’t have hurt the man to wait until tomorrow. Jesus also could have railed and preached against the system that made it illegal to perform healing acts of love on a certain day and left it at that. But Jesus was all about action. Jesus healed the man and moved on to the next thing.
We can choose to complain about how things are not right, or we can simply do something. We can go out into the world where the unchurched people are and love them. When we do this, we are mimicking Jesus healing the blind man and choose to act out of kindness and love. We already do a lot of this kind of work here. When we go into the schools through Kid’s Hope and That Place for Teens, we are reaching people, many who don’t know God. When we open our doors to feed people through our free Soup Dinners and Food Pantry, God’s grace and love flow. Through Kidz Connect, the Youth Group, and any number of other ministries and missions we are meeting people where they are, not where we want them to be.
As we move into the Christmas and Holiday season, lets continue to look for opportunities to reach people who don’t know God and don’t attend church. Let’s stop longing for the old days and reach out to the unchurched and get to know them. People don’t “just come to church” anymore, so let’s go meet them where they are and tell them why God is important to us. Let’s do what Jesus did and just love people.