John 9:1-17 (NRSV)
As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness…” “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry.” These and other bold statements by Jesus are manifestations of the big one, the statement that really seals the deal for us: “The time is fulfilled. The kingdom of God is at hand.”
Wow! These words demand action and accountability. No more dithering. But wait. Just hold your darn horses there, buster. What’s the rush? I, for one, don’t move that fast anymore and have tried all my life never to make rash decisions. I’ll do it when I’m good and ready!
What seems clear to me – as it was to the Jews, Gentiles, Greeks, Samaritans and other assorted folk in Jesus’ day – is that we have a choice to make. Either accept Jesus Christ as our personal lord and savior or put it off until we’re more “in the mood.” It’s pretty easy to give lip service to the former. A number of us do it all the time. We go to church regularly, put money in the plate, read the scriptures, at least on Sunday. Through long experience we’ve learned certain skills: the language of Christianity and many of its rote answers. And yet somehow it’s not enough. Are we frauds? John Wesley would have called us “heathens!” Such a response is dictated by fear of the unknown and a gnawing doubt of our ability to truly measure up to what Christ asks of us.
On the other hand, taking that leap of faith and diving in with Jesus holding us by the hand – and we holding onto Him for dear life – can and will, I believe, yield unparalleled spiritual riches and joy in our lives. I am reminded of a treasured hymn we all sang as children, “Jesus loves me, this I know.” Can we honestly believe He loves us less as adults? By no means! Thanks be to God.
Gentle, loving Father, restore in us that childlike faith we knew as children. And let it blossom in us as we seek to serve you and your kingdom on earth. Amen.