Faith Comes Before Sight 

 

Mark 10: 46-52

Early yesterday morning we were abruptly awakened. An unnamed member of our household thought they could hear a mouse – under their bed.

Few people like mice. Even fewer people like the thought of a mouse taking up residence under their bed. Our unnamed Wilson was one such person.

It started as a gentle call.

‘There’s a mouse in my room’

I pretended to sleep on.

It got louder and louder until eventually it was a cry: Dad! There’s a MOUSE under MY bed!!

I’d like to share with you how heroic I was rescuing the poor mouse from our beloved child. But I’m not a great mouse fan either – so I sent Ann to investigate.

In Mark 10 we read the story of how a blind man got the attention of Jesus. Bartimaeus kept on crying out to Jesus.

People rebuked him. Others tried to silence him.

But Bartimaeus wanted Jesus’ attention.

At times like this, how much do we want Jesus’ attention?

Bartimaeus kept going.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

Is this an odd question? Surely it was pretty obvious. Yet Jesus still wants us to state our need. The all-powerful God still wants us to have our voice.

Name your need. State what you want. God gets personal.

Jesus asks us: What do you want me to do for you?

Have we the faith to ask?

What we ask for will say so much about who we really believe Jesus is.

A good man? Ask small. Easy to do.

The Son of God? Ask big. Only God can do.

“Rabbi, I want to see”

To which Jesus replied: Go, your faith has healed you.

Faith came before sight.

Do we have faith to believe Jesus can see us and our families through this Covid-19? Are we shouting out to Jesus for what we really want at this time?

As a church let’s not be afraid to persist and call out to Jesus.

And when Jesus asks: what do you want me to do?

Let faith govern your response.

And tell him.
 



A Mighty Fortress... 

"I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me.."

These words could easily be written today.

They were actually penned nearly 500 years ago by a person called Martin Luther. In 1527 Germany was gripped by fear of the bubonic plague. The Black Death had killed millions of people in the 14th century.

Now it had returned.

People were understandably  scared.  Many fled their homes for safety elsewhere.

Martin and his wife Katharina stayed where they were.

During this time Martin Luther would write the hymn 'A Mighty Fortress is our God.' 

In difficult times, it's not wrong to be fearful, scared or anxious. Such times test us. But they also call us to trust God.

"A mighty fortress is our God
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper amid the flood
Of moral ills prevailing"

Centuries before, the writer of Psalm 46 stated:

"God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble"

What challenges do you face today?

Maybe it's working in a new environment.  Perhaps it's trying to make ends meet with a reduced income. Or looking after the kids. Or simply getting through another day.

We may be social distancing and self isolating.

But we don't have to be alone.

At times such as this our faith in God can be a real strength. As a Christian I believe that God does not abandon us to our 'fate'. Rather God wants to walk with us - through every circumstance. 

The Apostle Paul would later remind Christians living in Rome:

"If God is for us, who can be against us?"

May you know the love of God with you today.
 

Keith Wilson, 26/03/2020

Washing Hands Prayer 

Our hands are getting a lot of attention at the moment.

How often have you washed your hands today? And what do you do while you're washing them?

In times of crisis, it's easy to feel helpless. Prayer can and does make a difference.

We shared this at church on Sunday. It's the washing hands prayer.

You might want to try this next time your washing your glorious hands.

Our thumb - it hold things together. We remember in prayer those medical staff holding things together in our healthcare system at this time.

Our index finger - it points. We remember scientists and governments asking that they will receive, and give, the right advice 

The middle finger - right in the middle. In our prayer we remember those who are unwell or self isolating. 

The ring finger - in this prayer we remember those we love, and ask for God's care and protection upon them.

And finally that little finger - the weakest one. We pray for those who are vulnerable in our community.

 

Keith Wilson, 16/03/2020