We continue our “Seeking” series on the Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 19th, 2023. Our question this week is “Who Sinned?”. We read John 9:1-41 and consider the story. Marc leads a lesson for all ages and Pastor Kayla continues her preaching through this series.
Rewatch worship below!
by T. Denise Anderson
Inspired by John 9: 1-7
Oil on canvas
Jesus’ community saw this man’s blindness as a curse or a punishment for sin (either his parents’ sin or his own). While it is true that blindness comes with challenges in a world made for sightedness, it is important that we do not problematize blindness in preaching and teaching this story the way they did. What happened here was an apocalypse—a revelation of the nature of Jesus and the heart and mind of God. That revelation challenged the epistemologies of the community, and it is the ones in the story who’d been sighted all along who were ironically unable to perceive what God was doing. Jesus said that he “must work the works of him who sent me while it is day” (John 9:4). Daybreak is also an apocalypse of sorts; it reveals what we couldn’t readily see at night and allows us to perceive the
work in front of us. In my portrait, I’ve lit this man’s face as if the earth and the sun’s light are moving slowly across the surface, signaling the dawn of a new day. His eyes remain closed in my portrait because, for me, his newfound sightedness is not the miracle or the most important part of this story. What’s most important is the revelation of who Jesus is. Jesus has been revealed to this man in a way that even the witnesses around him could not comprehend. His encounter with Jesus raises him to a new life and offers the whole community a new understanding of God’s works. It’s a new day for everyone, though that proves to be a difficult gift to receive.
—Rev. Denise Anderson