A Congregational Letter to Morgan’s Point and Forks Road East United Churches
It is Lent 4 this week, and this is our first week of responding to the social distancing that has being asked of us to help control COVID-19 in our community, our country, and around the world. This is an uncertain time, for all of us. No longer do we gather for Worship, Bible Studies, UCW Meetings, Prayer Meetings, Youth Group, Sunday School, Salvation Army Food Preparations, and our usual gatherings in the Church and in our homes. We are also isolated from our wider community. It can feel lonely and frightening.
Our lectionary scripture reading this 4th week of Lent is about Jesus healing the man born blind. It comes from the Gospel of John 9: 1-41. It is the story of a man born blind. I imagine throughout his infancy, childhood, and adulthood there were many moments when the blind man was afraid and lonely. He has always been known as the one born bind - sitting day after day, by the side of the road, begging for scraps of kindness and caring. Yet, people walk by him as if he doesn’t even exist. He never sees their faces. He has never even seen his own face, his parent’s faces, a sunrise, the stars, his home, or a smile. His days are filled with loneliness, fear, and uncertainty.
That is until Jesus comes by. With Jesus’ healing touch, he becomes a new creation, he receives his sight, and he becomes a living testimony to the Son of Man.
Blindness is not about the quality of our vision or the condition of our eyes. It is not about the darkness around us, but rather, the darkness within us. How we see others, what we see in the world, the way we see life is less about the objects of our seeing and more about ourselves. We do not see God, people, things, or circumstances as they are but as we are. Until our eyes are opened by Christ, our seeing is really just a projection of ourselves onto the world. It describes the beliefs and fears within us.
During this 4th week of Lent, and, indeed, during this unfamiliar time of COVID-19, let us not look around us, but let us look within, allowing Jesus to renew our sight so that we are able to see our community anew with compassion, caring, healing, and hope. Let us keep one another in our faithful prayers each and every day.
Keep safe and well.