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Healing Pathways Service

Healing of the Blind Man
John 9: 1 – 41

Second Sunday in Lent

Delivered by Rev. Ron Coughlin

At the Retreat sponsored by the Church Board last Fall, one of the recommendations was that the work of the Pastoral Care Committee and the ministry of Healing Pathways be made more visible to the whole congregation. So we agreed that we would hold a service and invite the people involved in Healing Pathways to provide some leadership in a worship service.

So here we are.

Now there are two things we know about Jesus, from the Gospel stories:

Number one, He told parables and number two, he healed people. Sometimes we are told that Jesus points out that the person’s faith had helped them. He sometimes says, “Your faith has made you well.” But other times there is no indication about the individual’s faith. This is the case in our story today.

This is a wonderfully constructed, intriguing and beautifully told story. It is very typical of the short stories that we find in John’s gospel. In fact, it almost reads as a one-act play with seven scenes.

If there were auditions for this play, I suspect that most of us would go for the part of the blind man. It’s a challenging part, but a great part. Definitely Oscar material!

There he is just minding his own business, with his tin cup for alms in his hand, when the light of the world comes along and opens his eyes and shoves him into the spotlight where people stand in line to ask him questions. How were your eyes opened? Where is he? How did you receive your sight? What did he do to you? What do you say about him?

Did you notice something strange here? Not one person says “Halleluiah!” Not one person says “Thank God!” No one asks him what it is like to see for the first time or whether the light hurts his eyes. All they want to know is how, who, where and what.

In any case, they all assume he is mixed up in something unsavory. But all he knows is that it has happened. Everyone else around him wants to know if it is right or wrong. But he is not concerned with that – he is just concerned with the fact that he was blind, but now he sees.

Now in the early church, there was a tradition of healing. If someone was sick or depressed or troubled, the elders would go and lay hands on the individual to bring God’s blessing and peace to that person.

Like in the story of the healing of the Blind Man, we are not sure why it works, but evidently it does.

You have three options today for experiencing Healing Pathways:

Stay in your pew and offer your own prayers

Go to one of the healing stations for a laying on of hands prayer

Come to the front and light a candle and offer a prayer and then put it in the box of sand.

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