Sermon for Sunday, March 22

March 20, 2020


Gospel Reading: John 9:1-11

On this fourth Sunday in Lent, we read another passage of scripture that has a baptismal connection. Jesus encounters a blind man and Jesus restores his sight. Jesus also encounters some Pharisees, who can see with their eyes, but are blind to who Jesus is. When we are united to Christ, in baptism, we are enlightened to see the world in a new way.

Some of you have experienced blindness and so you can hear this story with more empathy. Most of us have eyes that work fairly well. But even when we are not physically blind, we continue to have trouble seeing.

Just the other day, I went to my computer to open the document for this message, and I could not find it. There are many documents and files on my computer. They are in many different folders and even on different drives. I have not yet created an organized file system, so as I type things and create documents, they end up in different places on the computer.

I went to the folder where I thought the document was. But I didn’t see it there. I went to the other folder where it might have been, but I didn’t see it there either. Then…I panicked, because I thought I had lost it. I had lost every-thing that I had already typed! So, in a panic, I started to skim through the various folders, but it all just looked like a blur of files.

But then, I calmed down, I went back to the place where the document should have been, I looked carefully through each file name (not just skimming)… and there it was, right where it was supposed to be, hidden in plain sight.

I had a moment of “Aha, now I see.”

The man who was born blind, encountered Jesus, his eyes were opened, and he had a moment of “Aha, now I see.”

What do you see when you look at the world and when you look at your life? What are you trying to find? Have you found it? Do you see it? Are you searching frantically in a panic?

Our eyes must be opened in order to see clearly. We are born blind. We are born unable to see the true reality of who God is. We are born unable to see God’s work in this world. It is only when our eyes are opened by the Holy Spirit, when we are born again, that we can truly see. Having our eyes opened is new life, and new life opens our eyes.

So what do you see with your eyes wide open? Do you see the light of Christ?

During this time of turmoil, with the COVID-19 outbreak, it is important to look at the world with our eyes wide open. It is important to look at the world with the light of Christ shining on it. It is too easy to be blind to God’s sal-vation in the midst of sickness. It is too easy to see only darkness, crises, and impending doom. We can panic and start to frantically search for answers from social media, from the news, from stories that we have heard.

Instead, calm down and look carefully. Look and see who is really hurting and who is really in need. Look and see how you can support your neighbors and those around you, how you can call a friend who may be lonely and isolated, or offer to get supplies for people who are vulnerable and can’t go out. See how you can send money to charities and food pantries to feed people who may be losing their jobs.

Most importantly, look and see that God is still God and that he continues to rule the world. Look and see that God is providing for you, that God is protecting you, that God will save you. Look and see that Jesus is Lord. He is the savior who we need, and he has come to shine light in this darkness.

Your eyes have been opened, so look around and see what the Lord has done. See what the Lord is doing right now. See how he is protecting you and protecting so many other people. See how he is guiding you and providing