Scripture: John 9:1-41
Key verse: (40) “Surely we are not blind are we?”
Reflection: Sunday evening I returned from an amazing vacation. We spent a week sailing in the British Virgin Islands, a splurge for us to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary coming up two weeks from today. It was an experience of beauty and Sabbath like none other. Each day had its routines, including a little work to be done around the boat, but the majority of time was spent relaxing and taking in the beauty surrounding us, from snorkeling along coral reefs filled with the most vibrantly colored fish, to sailing electric blue waters powered only by the steady winds, to star gazing atop the deck at night. Slowing down like that gave me the chance to see in ways I often miss in the midst of the demands of life and work in everyday living. Toward the end of the trip I found myself profoundly moved by the many blessings of my life. Considering my marriage, my family, my call, the opportunity to take such an extravagant vacation, I was overwhelmed by God’s grace and mercy. It was an opportunity to see the gifts of God much more intensely.
Today’s reading is about a man born blind who receives his sight. It’s a long one, but well worth the few minutes it will take you to read. As the story progresses, the man born blind is not the only one who sees. In fact, those who think they see come to understand their own blindness. The disciples are challenged to see in the man not a sinner, but a child of God born to reveal God’s glory. The townspeople are confounded by his healing so much they don’t even trust their eyes to recognize him. And the religious leaders, who believe they see so clearly, seeing sin so clearly are actually revealed to be blind to the grace of God unfolding before their very eyes. They are so blinded by their fear that they drive the man out of the community for being healed. Stunning.
In yesterday’s devotion, John Magnuson wrote, “God’s love through Jesus by the presence of the Spirit is among us all the time! Too often we just miss God’s presence. What would our days look like if we expected to see and hear God’s presence? … Notice grace, love, and hospitality. Name these moments as God’s presence.” Reading that my first day back from vacation, his words perfectly articulated what I had experienced on that boat.
I hope you can take the time today to slow down for a moment and see the beauty of the world that surrounds you. See God’s grace flowing in your life, perhaps even through your life. Together may we join the man born blind who was healed by Jesus that we might all say, “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
Prayer: “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.” Thank you, Lord. Amen.
Author: Joe Clifford
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].