Service for October 3, 2021
Sermon Seeing the Light John 9: 1-12
George Burns once quipped that the secret of a good sermon was to have a good beginning and a good ending and to have the two as close together as possible.
He would have been pleased with the results of the pandemic as many minister I have talked to have told me they have reduced the length of their sermons because they know the people can just shut off the video.
The scripture today was long enough as it was but the full story goes to verse 41. To make the sermon shorter, I have reduced the homily to a series of lessons.
It is the story of a simple act of kindness. Jesus heals a blind man. Everyone should be happy – but no. Some are furious.
LESSON 1: Even a simple act of kindness can become complicated.
If we look at the characters in this story we see first the blind man. He was blind from birth which would have been a very difficult existence in those days. Jesus may have chosen this man as everyone knew he was blind all his life and therefore they would know it was not a fake healing.
The Fifth Estate once did a documentary on Benny Hinn and found that he only allowed people on stage who were not obviously ill so the “cure” could not be easily disproved.
The disciples were there as seekers and learners to ask the questions that we would want to ask. The neighbours are there for validity as the story gets shared with others. The Pharisees are the doubters that every story has to have and the parents are simply there because they are the parents
In Verse 2
g the disciples ask who sinned that this man should be born blind. It was a common theory then and it still is. There is a common belief that God punishes people for their “sins” but Jesus refutes this. I have often said that we may feel punished because of lifestyle may lead us into bad situations but that is not God punishing us. Jesus uses this negative situation to show God’s love.
LESSON 2: There is a way to show God’s love in all circumstances.
In Verse 6, Jesus heals the man and it only takes two verses for the neighbours to doubt the results. They have kl=lived with this person for years but the miracle is so far out of their conception that they doubt if it is the same man.
LESSON 3 Even your friends will doubt you at times.
By verse 13 the Pharisees get in on the action. They realise they cannot refute the healing so they take a different tact. They accuse him of breaking the law by healing on the Sabbath. They accuse him of not really being from God as he broke a human law.
LESSON 4: The authorities are not always right but they will argue against you because they hate to be wrong.
In verse 18 the authorities call the parents. The son has not been any help to them so they raise the stakes and ask te relatives.
LESSON 5: Some authorities will go to great lengths to prove they are not wrong; even when they are.
In Verse 20 and 21 the parents are afraid so they pass the buck.
LESSON 6: Some people are too terrified to be able to stand up for truth.
In verse 24 they recall the man who got healed. By this time he is frustrated with them and basically responds that he doesn’t know how it happened it just did.
Have you ever been in a situation where something happened and someone says to you “OH that’s not possible”. Your response is “I don’t know if it’s possible. I just know it happened”
I had an emergency number sign at one place I lived. It faded completely, to the point where you could not read the numbers. I removed it and took it to the township office. I asked for a new one. The man there said they didn’t fade. I showed it to him. He looked at it and said it hadn’t faded. Then he asked what number was supposed to be on it.
The blind man must have felt the same type of frustration
LESSON 7 Sometimes we just want to celebrate a miracle without knowing how it happened.
Finally in verse 34 the authorities attack the blind man. They tell him that he is a sinner and has no right to be telling them anything so they drive him out of town.
It is a common argument style, that if you can’t discredit the act you discredit the person.
LESSON 8: Some people are so afraid of good news that they become illogical. Especially if that good news is going to force them to change their preconceived ideas.
In the closing verses of this story, Jesus seeks this man and comforts him. He brought him both physical and spiritual light.
LESSON 9 No matter what the world throws at you , God is never far away.
The lesson of this whole story is that a life of faith is not always easy. We don’t always understand everything. We are often challenged. We are often condemned but bringing light to others is worth it. We also can be assured that we are never alone, God seeks us out.
PRAYER God, Many things happen in our lives. We are often confronted by new information and new ways of seeing your work in our days. Help us to embrace the many ways you reach out to us and others. Help us to be inspired and enthused by the constant reminders of your action. Wake us up that we might share your good news with people of all walks of life. Wake us up they we might rediscover our own faith consequently help others to do the same.
God help us to see areas that need your energy, inour country or around the world. Help us to be the miracle.
We pray for those who need special care this day.
Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever Amen
SERVICE Oct 3, 2021
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers
Hymn – G 457
C Let us Break Bread Together 480
Scripture John 9: 1-12
Reflection Sharing the light
Hymn G 660
C Only takes a Spark 289
Go now in Peace
Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen
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Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0
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