Blogging Towards Sunday
March 2, 2008
March 2, 2008
I can visual the story unfolding as I read it. That's part of the power of John's story telling. I'm struck by the challenge of the narrative. What am I like? How do we live out our faith as a community? Do we live as healers, affirming the life-changing, sustaining, and giving power of faith in Christ? Or do we live as something else? As I look around I hear much of the church community - in the larger sense of the world - viewed as polarizing, dogmatizing, and doctrine-focused as opposed to justice-doing, community-making, and faith-building through diverse actions and commitments to healing. So often our church institutions become focused more on sin than faith, seemingly interested in polarization and division rather than wholeness and life in a new community around the One that makes all things new.
A great article I found on this week's page of textweek.com asks some great questions.
"As a folk healer, Jesus restored meaning to people’s lives...
Are we engaged in life-giving or death-dealing deeds?
Are we restoring meaning to life, or robbing it of the meaning intended by the Creator?"
Read the whole thing HERE.
Faith isn't about rigid observance or rules or rituals. Jesus affirms this in his absolute rejection between the historically suspected link between sin and physical disability. Jesus challenges and subverts the religio-cultural affirmations of his time, culture and day by asserting that there is a randomness or otherness to disability, decay, or a lack of physical wholeness. Where the religious leaders of his day see a strict fundamentalistic interpretation of the Word of God, Jesus paints a portrait of faith that frees, liberates, renews life in a radically new way. It's a challenge for us in our practice of faith as individual followers and as a community of disciples. How is our faith impacting us and our world? To what to we attach our faith? Is it to elements that constrain and limit our human-ness, or that free us to be wholly for and of God's goodness? Another great article on textweek by William Loader highlights some of these questions posed by the text.
As I studied this text the song "The Gentle Healer" by Michael Card kept playing in my mind. Here's a version of it from youtube.com