Today’s passage comes at the conclusion of an awesome court-like drama that starts at the beginning of chapter 9. The Pharisees are dumbfounded at the healing of a blind man and are seeking all sorts of loopholes & flaws in the miracle to expose Jesus as some sort of poseur. (Note: This is not the Pharisees’ finest hour. They certainly aren’t Perry Mason-esque in this scene.) Jesus then drives home the challenge, that though the Pharisees may see they may still be blind to the truth. What might we take away from this selection?
A few years ago at a White Elephant party, I received a bagful of jigsaw puzzle pieces with no box. With no guidance or clues as to the picture I was hoping to re-create, the puzzle was next-to-impossible to complete. (In hindsight, I’m not sure that a puzzle of 5 black cats on a black background was quite worth the effort. That’s all right, somewhere, sometime, someplace there will be revenge. Um, I mean in a “Christ-like” way, of course.)
We may think we have a vision for our lives & our purpose, but without the proper guideline & instruction, it is much like trying to complete that exasperating jigsaw puzzle: frustrating & incredibly inefficient.
We know that corporations & churches benefit greatly from having a vision statement, but what about our own lives? With New Year’s Eve upon us, (the evening where youth are allowed to stay up until midnight & adults are forced to stay up until midnight) perhaps we could avoid the usual resolutions like losing weight, reading more, or to be more frugal (& to not waste money on another solar-powered flashlight purchased off of late-night-TV).
What if we were to create a faith oriented mission statement that reflected our beliefs & helped us to live out these values to the fullest? Sounds great! How might it work? Consider two quick examples.
One friend elected to skip the annual “lose 10 pounds resolution” and wanted to focus on just becoming healthier before an upcoming mission trip. Her resolution was to have better overall health to better serve God. She would eat more fruits & vegetables, exercise more, & get sufficient rest. Her vision became a significant rallying point, instead of an arbitrary number.
Or what if instead of just resolving to attend church more often, we would elect to make our time in worship more meaningful? One friend shared that they started to lay out all of the clothes (& find the children’s shoes – both left & right) the night before church. They strived to leave with plenty of time, so no rushing into the church at the last second. Instead of plotting/planning their day on the way to church, they considered that to be a time to just talk about what they might pray about or who might need prayers. Worship became the destination for the morning, not a pit stop on the day’s schedule.
We all need a vision to help us accomplish more with our limited time & our immense talents. This could be a great year!