Building Relationships Through Reconciliation

This week, our Lenten focus is on gaining reconciliation and relationship through the healing of those suffering from the "isms" and illnesses of life, that are unable to be fed and cared for at our tables of faith and fellowship.

As a people, generally speaking, we are very strong both mentally and physically. Humanity has overcome a vast number of dangerous situations, conditions, and conflicts that have come against us over the millennia. We have outlasted, outsmarted, diligently prepared for, and valiantly defeated a great host of lethal viral and bacterial infections, natural disasters, fierce military battles, even a few fairly large meteors, among other threats. Most importantly, God has given humanity the power and intelligence to overcome all the dangers that have ever befallen us. Without God's power and protection, we all would have become extinct, as a species, a very long time ago.

The fact is, without God's power, we are also frail in many ways too, regarding facets of our spiritual state of being. Even when we look as if we're showing immense spiritual strength outwardly as people who trust in God to provide all our needs as we rise to meet life's various challenges with courage and devotion, a regular frailty of ours is the tendency to be blinded to the loving spirit, strength, perseverance, and wonderful gifts of people who seem weaker, or who lack full mobility, or who have been hampered by a state of health that is more prone to illness than most others.

In the gospel of John 9:1-41, you will find a full-bodied account of Jesus' connection to a man who was identified only as "a blind man" and later referred to as "a beggar" by his neighbors, but who Jesus provided a multilayered gift of acceptance, and thus reconciliation, through a revelation about himself.

After reading the gospel, please take note of how the nature of the gift was experienced on more than one level as well as how Jesus opened his disciples' minds and hearts to their spiritual limitations through a simple question they asked of him about the blind man. May we all be so opened and offer reconciliation to others like the blind man.

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