Ministry Updates for Tuesday, April 28th, 2020
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Scripture for Reflection – Mark 10:46-52
As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” 50 So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” 52 Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
Reflection – What Do You Want Me to Do for You? (Part 1 of 3 – Respect)
I may have read this scripture a dozen times or so before it hit me: Jesus had a deep respect for Bartimaeus.
When cities put on special events which draw people from across the country or around the world, there is often an outcry regarding programs designed to remove poor beggars from the sight of the on-looking world. This may be why the people of Jericho ‘sternly ordered him to be quiet’, putting the reputation of their city at a higher priority than respect for the beggar.
But Jesus asked the man to come to him. From afar, Jesus could not know he was blind. But the man found his way. No doubt that Christian history teaches us many do blindly find their way to Jesus, each of us taking a different path, sometimes against the objections of those who fear our newfound faith may separate us from them or their less than ideal ways. So they do not respect our wishes.
At the core of Jesus ‘respect’ for this man is this question: ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Even in our blindness, Jesus respects that we have a sense of what we need.
Jesus knows that the only change that will stick with us is the change we want; the change we are so passionate about we will cry out to God for it. He has the deepest respect for someone who will overcome the misguided crowd in order to call on the mercy of God.
Respect is an enormous dimension of love. It leads to healing and growth in individuals and harmony in community. Respect, like many good gifts, begins with God’s respect for us.
God of love, God of respect, it is amazing that even in our blindness, you respect that we have enough within us that is worthy. You honor and respect our hopes and our dreams, even as you quiet our fears and forgive our failures. May we humbly receive this respect and find someone today to show respect to. Amen.