Service update: Father Riley will lead us in Holy Eucharist, Sunday, June 2, 2019
2019 Capital Campaign Project Update:
If you have visited our home church, you have seen the work underway. Below are a few images of the work in progress and views of some of the damage found. We will soon have a second mail out to families who have had a relationship with our congregation in the past and may wish to join us in offering donations to our 2019 Capital Campaign. Our first mail out yielded bountiful results and we are all very thankful. If you know someone who may wish to contribute, please check with them about making a donation to our project.
EASTER VI - C - 19 JOHN 5. 1-9
The old city of
The sheep gate is one such gate. Today it is known as the lion’s gate. It is located north of the
On my last visit to the
The water for this high ground pool came from underground springs and was used to wash down the sacrificial lambs before they were slain. They were also believed to have curative powers. Those who were in physical need waited to enter the water after an angel had supposedly disturbed it. The first one to enter was cured.
Jesus passes through the sheep gate on his way to the
Perhaps it was divine intuition, but he does tell us that Jesus was pointed in his question of him. “Do you want to be made well?” The man answered with an excuse. “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.”
This man had made a way of life out of his long wait for healing. However, on this day the man’s belief in the healing power of the waters of the pool was replaced by his belief and obedience to Jesus’ command. “Stand up, take your mat and walk.
The unnamed man’s obedience put him on a path to real life, a different path he now chose to walk without his former excuse, or “crutch” we might say. Jesus’ question to him was indeed a pointed one. “Do you want to get better, or are you satisfied with the way your life is now?”
Jesus brings new life that breaks into the present. The healing Jesus offers is the reality the created world has been waiting for the beginning of a new creation. Jesus singled out the man who had waited for thirty-eight years as an example of perseverance. The man’s patience stands as judgment against those who loose hope or patience in much lesser troubles lasting a far shorter time.
What about us? Would we have the patience to persevere thirty or forty years waiting for a miracle to take place and relieve us of our trouble?
I have known, as I am certain you have as well, persons who have made a life out of waiting for things to get better. Many of whom have an excuse why their life is the way it is. They feel, in some cases, that life has dealt them a bad hand.
They can’t get a job or they can’t seem to keep one. They never have enough money. It is always some one else’s fault why they are in the shape they are in. They never take responsibility for their actions, never have and never will. They always have an excuse.
Their excuse has become their “crutch.” Take away their excuse and they have no real reason to be or act the way they do. They have learned to make a life out of the way they are. Some will never change, simply because they do not wish to. They will continue through life limping along as it were and all the while crying woe is me.
They have no faith or belief that things can change for the better. Unlike the man who lay next to the pool for all those years still believing that one day it just might be his day, those who are satisfied with the life they are now living have no hope but have resigned themselves to fate.
God has sent His Son into the world to offer hope and to bring new life, to bring healing to a broken world. As the collect says, God has prepared for those who love Him such good things as surpass our understanding. We may tell ourselves that we are waiting for a miracle but the miracle has already come.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth. Jesus brings new life that breaks into the present. God is waiting for us to grasp it so that we may obtain his promises, which exceed all that we can desire.
“Do you want to be healed,” Jesus asked the man who had been lying next to the pool for thirty-eight years? He responded with an excuse, yet obeyed Jesus’ command to stand up and walk. The Gospel of Jesus Christ confronts us with a similar question. Do we want to live the new life to which we have been called casting aside our every excuse in order to do so?
Not resigning ourselves to fate, but a life of faith, hope and love in Him who died and rose again that we might have new life and have it more abundantly. Or, are we satisfied with the life we now live? Are we still waiting on a miracle? Those are the questions we all need to answer for ourselves.
God in Christ is waiting for us to respond to his command to “stand up and walk,” walk away from the old life of sin and death and into the light of the new life He brings to all who put their trust in Him. AMEN+