Worshipping together at a good distance – 22 March

22 March 2020

God of the home and God of the pilgrim,
we begin to dig in for an uncertain season,
and embark on a journey together.
This is a path we haven’t been on.
Yet we know in each step 
you are there alongside us:
a guide, a protector, a friend. 
May each day on the road bring us closer together
closer to a land of grateful reunion 
closer to the place you call home.
Amen.
© The Corrymeela Community

John 9.1-7 (8-41)  (The Message)

1-2 Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”

Photo by Chris Yang on Unsplash; licensed under CC0

3-5 Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.”

6-7 He said this and then spit in the dust, made a clay paste with the saliva, rubbed the paste on the blind man’s eyes, and said, “Go, wash at the Pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “Sent”). The man went and washed—and saw.

For reflection:

            We often ask the question without thinking. Why did this happen?  What caused this?  What is the reason for this?

            And yet, as Jesus is quick to point out, this kind of question often only serves to point us backwards.  Who can we blame?  And who can we hold responsible?   No one, Jesus replies.  No one sinned.  Sometimes things just happen.  

So instead of asking the backward pointing, blaming questions, Jesus invites us to see the world around us, the world which just happens, not simply as a source of anxiety, but as something else altogether.  

For even the things we cannot explain or undo are not lost to God’s fierce love and firm hand.  On the contrary, they become part of the raw material with which God the Creator is still creating, shaping our lives and our communities for the good, muddy hands and all.

We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here,Jesus says.  In order that people will see what God can do, in the midst of a world which sometimes just happens.

That’s one of the things the man once called blind still enables us to see.  So perhaps the better question for us to ask, when the world just happens, is this:  What is the work we are called to do now, here where we are?  What is God creating in us now?  And where, in each other’s company, could the Spirit be leading us?

            Sometimes the world just happens, and we cannot undo what has been done.  But we can still be “response-able”, able and willing to respond, by opening our lives and our questions and even our anxieties to God’s energetic work in us and among us.

 And then we, too, will have a story to tell, to God’s glory

Think about making a simple paper prayer chain this week.

Start today, and add a small paper link to your chain each morning when you get up, or each evening, when you sit down to eat.  

Write on each day’s link the name of a person or group of people or other living things for whom you will pray ,or whom you will contact, today.  

Soon your kitchen or hall or wherever you hang your chain will become more festive and hopeful with all your prayers. 

Take photos, and send them to your friends.

And when we are together again, we can hang them all!

Reflection © Christ Church, Sandymount