March 22, 2020

  1 Samuel 16:1-13 Psalm 23 John 9:1-41 “Blind, Lost, Uncertain, and Needing God’s Help” You’ve been driving around the neighbourhood for half an hour already, and you still haven’t found the street you’re looking for. The houses and stores are starting to look familiar now, but you’re no closer to your destination than you were twenty minutes ago. The problem is that your spouse knows where he’s going… at least, he thinks he does. How long will it be, you wonder, before he gives in and asks for directions? “What was that?” your grandmother shouts at you. “Where is your hearing aid?” you ask for the third time, and she finally understands the question – probably because you’re pointing madly at her ear. “Oh, I don’t need that thing,” she says, “I can hear you just fine.” Your daughter just got her first pair of glasses. They were long overdue after almost failing grade nine because she couldn’t follow what was going on in class. She couldn’t see the board, missed most of the notes, and couldn’t concentrate because of the headaches she got from squinting so much. But she won’t wear them – the new glasses. She doesn’t like the way they look, you assume. But all she can say is, “I don’t need them. I can see without them.” What can you do to convince her? Somehow, the fact that mom needs glasses too doesn’t seem to help. Sometimes it can be very difficult for us to … Read more »

March 30, 2014

I Samuel 16:1-13 Psalm 23 John 9:1-41 “God Sees Differently” The story of the day that God asked Samuel to choose a new king for the People of Israel is a good illustration of the way that God sees differently from the rest of us. The first king of Israel, King Saul, was not doing a very good job, as far as God was concerned. He wasn’t honouring God or following God’s ways, and God wanted him replaced as quickly as possible. The prophet Samuel, who had once anointed Saul to be king, now had been instructed by God to anoint a new king from among Jesse’s sons. Samuel had to go to Bethlehem, meet up with Jesse’s family, and God would show him which one of the sons was God’s chosen one to be the king. I’m not really sure why God didn’t just tell Samuel right away that David was the chosen one. While God was giving all those instructions anyway, God could easily have added, “Oh, and by the way, the kid’s name is David.” But the story is not just about the practical process of finding and anointing a new king for Israel. It also tells us something about that new king. It tells us that he wasn’t the biggest, strongest, most obvious choice for a king. His father didn’t even bother having him come in from the fields on the off chance that he might be the one. But David had the right attitude, the … Read more »

April 3, 2011

Introduction to the reading from John: Just before we hear the Gospel reading, I want to say a few things. During the season of Lent in year A, we get a series of long stories from John’s Gospel, and today’s Gospel story about the healing of a blind man from John 9 is no exception. All of the Gospels have stories about Jesus healing people who are blind. But if we were reading a healing story from Mark’s Gospel it would be much shorter! The Gospel writer would tell us that someone was blind. Jesus would do something simple to help. The person would be healed. And everyone would rejoice and praise God. There might be a few Pharisees around who would grumble about it a little bit, especially if it happened to be the Sabbath day. But that would be the story. John’s Gospel is different though. When the author of John’s Gospel tells a story about healing a blind man, it’s about much more than just healing a blind man. It’s almost like John’s stories are parables. They’re not parables really, because parables are made up stories that are told to make a specific point. On the surface a parable is about one thing, but it has a deeper level of meaning too, and that’s the point of the story. John’s stories are about things that Jesus actually did in his ministry. But they’re told in such a way that, if you listen carefully, you’ll notice that they … Read more »

March 2, 2008

1 Samuel 16:1-13Psalm 23John 9:1-41 The story of the day that God asked Samuel to choose a new king for the People of Israel is a good illustration of the way that God sees differently from the rest of us. The first king of Israel, King Saul, was not doing a very good job, as far as God was concerned. He wasn’t honouring God or following God’s ways, and God wanted him replaced as quickly as possible. The prophet Samuel, who had once anointed Saul to be king, now had been instructed by God to anoint a new king from among Jesse’s sons. Samuel had to go to Bethlehem, meet up with Jesse’s family, and God would show him which one of the sons was God’s chosen one to be the king. I’m not really sure why God didn’t just tell Samuel right away that David was the chosen one. While God was giving all those instructions anyway, God could easily have added, “Oh, and by the way, the kid’s name is David.” But the story is not just about the practical process of finding and anointing a new king for Israel. It also tells us something about that new king. It tells us that he wasn’t the biggest, strongest, most obvious choice for a king. His father didn’t even bother having him come in from the fields on the off chance that he might be the one. But David had the right attitude, the right sparkle in his eyes. … Read more »