Mark 10:46-52 (NRSV)
… As [Jesus] and his disciples…were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus…a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside [and] began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ …Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said…let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight….
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NRSV)
So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
Exodus 10:24-26 (NRSV)
Then Pharaoh summoned Moses, and said, ‘Go, worship the Lord. Only your flocks and your herds shall remain behind…. But Moses said, ‘You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt-offerings to sacrifice to the Lord our God. Our livestock also must go with us….
At many services we formally carry the large Bible to the lectern to symbolize that God’s word is the center of our worship. At the conclusion we recess carrying the Bible out of the Sanctuary to symbolize bearing the Word into the world. Whether you believe this is important symbolism, think it is silly, or never realized what we are doing, there is considerable doubt that the scripture we hear on Sunday actually influences our behavior during the week.
The late Shirley Guthrie, author of Christian Doctrine and teacher of Pastor Scott, argued that as human beings created in God’s image, we were obliged to base our behavior on that of Jesus. How would it look if we took that idea seriously? Jesus healed the blind. Perhaps we can heal political divisions by speaking respectfully. Jesus’ followers persevered in the face of difficulty. Perhaps we can remain calm in the face of division so that, in the words of the hymn, “they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Millennia before Jesus, Moses insisted on being able to practice his religion. Perhaps we can resist calls to deny the same freedom to Muslims. Small steps, yet perhaps they may help us transform into the people God wants us to be. So why not try?
Lord, you gave us Jesus as an example of what it means to be a human being created in the image of God. As we hear stories of his life and that of his followers at Sunday’s worship, help us to model Jesus life through the subsequent week so we can approach the example of true humanity you have given us. We ask this in the name of our Savior, Jesus the Christ. Amen.