As we get deeper into this journey together, as a community of faith, we offer this caution - resist panic. This is not to say that there are not many reasons to be concerned because there certainly are. We should not ignore the sound advice of medical professionals and health experts. But panic and fear are not helpful. Yet we will see panic and fear used to politicize when we need to be united or to stoke television ratings when we really just need the media to help us us calmly coordinate resources to manage this health crisis. It is possible to respond to a crisis seriously and deliberately while maintaining an inner sense of calm and hope. We don't have to understand absolutely everything about our circumstances and we don't have to always feel like we are in control. This is part of growing in trust, our trust in God and in one another.
This Sunday's assigned Gospel (for the 4th Sunday in Lent) is an example of what happens when people's viewpoints are driven by fear, lack of understanding, lack of trust, and a need to be in control. I will be sharing a message on this text this weekend along with prayer and blessing. However, the questions below can help you familiarize yourself with the text and maybe even lead to some self reflection of your own:
Bible Study – 4th Sunday of Lent - A
John 9:1-41 (Find a Bible, download a Bible app, or Google it!)
1. Who is someone you admire who has overcome a disability?
2. How did the disciples view the blind man? Why?
3. What did Jesus' reply show about how he viewed the man's affliction?
4. Why do you think that Jesus healed the blind man in this way?
5. Why do you think that some of the Pharisees look at the blind man so harshly? How about the way they view Jesus?
6. Why does Jesus suggest that the Pharisees are blind?
7. What do you find amazing about this story?
8. In what ways do many churches today struggle with their vision?
9. What is clouding our vision right now? As individuals? Families? A nation? A world?
As our Gospels, say over and over again, "Do not be afraid." Trust God. Take care of yourself. Love your neighbor.
Grace and peace,