Here we have Jesus, the Light of the world, healing a man born blind. The Pharisees want to know who sinned—this man or his parents—to cause this punishment of blindness. It’s still a common thought today. Despite all the experiential evidence to the contrary, on some deep level we believe...
Almighty God, forgive me for asking “Who sinned?” in the face of suffering. Use me to show and share your love, presence, and peace with all I meet, especially those who do not yet know you. Amen.
The two readings from the Hebrew scriptures focus on the life of David. In First Samuel, the prophet is sent to anoint the next king of Israel. God chooses David not because of outward appearance but because of his heart. David is not perfect, nor is his life always easy. Psalm 23 declares David’s trust in God in good times and bad times. Just as Samuel has anointed David with oil, so does the Lord anoint him. The New Testament readings both employ images of light and darkness. Ephesians instructs us to live as children of light, not darkness. In John, Jesus heals a blind man and brings him from darkness into light. Some religious leaders protest because although their physical eyes can see, their spiritual vision is darkened.
Read 1 Samuel 16:1-13. How often do you judge others by outward appearances or worldly successes? How can you “look upon the heart” to judge leaders in your community?Read Psalm 23. When have you experienced Jesus’ presence with you in the wilderness?Read Ephesians 5:8-14. How does God’s light help you persist through struggles within yourself or in the world around you?Read John 9:1-41. What questions does Jesus ask you? How do your questions of Jesus help you understand him?
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The RESILIENCE conference in 2021 was so uplifting and nourishing. It was wonderful to be with other Christians around the world at this retreat, who truly care about responding to trauma in a compassionate way by teaching spiritual practices to help with grounding and healing.”
Join us for the next RESILIENCE conference on September 29-30, 2023. Learn more at UpperRoom.org/resilience.