LENT 4 SUNDAY MARCH 22ND 2020
WALKING IN DARKNESS Ephesians 5:8-14; Psalm 23; John 9: 1-41;
In this time of waiting for the COVID 19 pandemic to pass over us and life to be restored as we knew it only a short time ago, do you ever fear ‘you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death’? What thoughts come to you in the dark hours of the night; what do you fear the most? As someone who loves reading, studying, needlepoint and dressmaking, what I have always dreaded is blindness. Our Gospel this Sunday reminds us all of the man born blind (John 9: 1-41). Jews believed blindness was a form of God’s judgement for sin. Yet Christians know that Jesus is the Light of the world and whoever believes in Him should hold to the truth that we live in Jesus’ glorious Light.
People are still believing that God punishes us for our wrongdoing. I have heard people saying that this COVID 19 virus is God’s punishment for turning our backs on Him. To this I have to say confidently and firmly ‘”NO, NO and NO. Jesus died on the Cross and took upon Himself all the sins of mankind once and for all!”. If you truly believe in Jesus as the Son of God who came and lived among humankind, then you cannot turn away from the truth that He died on the cross for your sins and mine and so darkness holds no fear for us. Instead, I suggest our faith in God is being tested to show each of us clearly where our faith needs strengthening. The man born blind was questioned over and over again for the Pharisees did not believe he was blind since birth, but that he was a conman. All he could say was, “once I was blind but now I see”. Once we were all in bondage to sin but in Jesus Christ we are set free to love and to serve Him in and through each other. Millions in this world testify to this fact and how Jesus has transformed their lives.We do not merely hope to live in the light of Christ, we know we can. Once we were blind just like the man in the gospel, but now we know Jesus, we can see!
‘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!’ John Newton
PRAYER: God of mercy and compassion, when Your face seems far from me, help me to trust that you are smiling on me with love.Bring me through this dark night of anxiety that I may sing to You in the morning light of Your glory.’ In Jesus Name, Amen.