Thursday, March 26

By: Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum
John 9:1-41
Reflection—v. 34 ‘You were born entirely in sins… are you trying to teach us?’

Before they drive him out of the synagogue, the leaders balk at the audacity of the beggar-turned-prophet who outwits their persistent questions and offers to elucidate instead. They are trying to reason, question, logic-out, or even theologize what has happened to this once over-looked poor beggar who, along with the man who healed him, no longer fit into their limited paradigm of how God works. As this clever evangelist and a busy-at-work Jesus become progressively disruptive and unignorable, the leaders become increasingly unable (and perhaps unwilling) to accept and perceive the messy beauty of what’s transpired—that God-with-us wasn’t afraid to get down in the dirt and empower this prophet who can plainly speak for himself. The leaders bring up the man’s sinfulness, a convenient reason to discredit his voice and silence his experience. They grasp for any reason not to hear wisdom from a poor man they not-so-secretly wish had stayed in his lane. If one spends any time with our sacred text, it should be unsurprising that God’s voice so often speaks from the margins–from the mouths of the poor, the homeless, the disabled, and the neglected. Yet, do we give credence to these voices, or do we, like the grasping synagogue leaders, question what they could have to teach us? God is still busy out there on those streets. May we be open enough not to miss God’s handiwork in the stories and experiences of others.

Prayer God at work, help us to listen and to be willing to learn, especially from those we don’t expect to have something to teach us.

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