What I’m Thinking: Responding to Circumstances

When he healed a blind man in the wrong place at the wrong time, Jesus drew criticism. Sometimes, you have to do things in a new or different way appropriate to the time.

Here’s a transcript:

First of all, I need to make an announcement.

Church of the Holy Cross will not meet in person for worship on Sunday, March 22nd, or Sunday, March 29th. In addition, we will not be holding our regular Bible studies on Wednesday or Sunday, and the choir will not be rehearsing. We will also not be gathering for the Community Sing on the fourth Friday.

Why? We are trying to do our part to (slow the) spread (of) the distribution of the corona virus and the COVID-19 disease. We’re not going to stop it, but if we slow it, then it gives the hospitals an opportunity to respond properly, that they will not be overwhelmed with a lot of very, very sick people all at once, and find themselves unable to care property either for them or for the other folks who are injured or ill or needing treatment for chronic conditions at the same time.

It is my prayer that all of you might get through this time in good health and in good spirits. It is my prayer that God might hold all of us in a tender, healing, and loving hand.

I am also thinking about the ninth chapter of John (John 9:1-41) because we will be holding a worship service on Sunday, only we’ll do it via the Internet (probably right here on this channel).

The ninth chapter of John seems appropriate. In it, Jesus heals a man born blind. A controversy erupts. The problem – at least the way I read the problem – is that when Jesus did this healing, he did it outside of the normal procedures, outside of the usual boundaries, outside not just of the common expectations but of the common beliefs in what was right and what was proper. He stepped outside what they knew to be good and right and true.

We have seen that in this COVID-19 outbreak, that there have been occasions when folks have followed good, sound procedures, and it turns out that that delayed, sometimes by a fair amount, testing or an up-to-date response to the growth of this pandemic.

Most of the time procedures like this make sense, whether they’re procedures for theology and theological reflection or whether they are procedures for medicine and medical diagnosis. Most of the time they serve us. That’s why they’re there.

It is also important for all of us to be aware of the realities around us, and when new realities emerge that our older structures do not respond well to, then we need to be prepared to try something new, something different. We need to be ready to respond to changing circumstances.

That was, in part, the message of Jesus. That was, in part, what John was trying to teach us in chapter nine. It is, in part, our life as faithful people, living constantly in changing times and seeking to bring what we understand of the grace of God to them.

May God be with you in this challenging time. May God sustain you where you need strength and comfort. May God guide you in compassion and peace.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , , | Posted on March 15, 2020

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