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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sermon 03032013 Sunday in Lent 3

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

Let us pray!  Merciful Father, we go to places that are said to have magical abilities to heal our ailments, but the truth is these places are only a focal point for us.  For You are the true healer of our souls.  Enable us to in faith call upon You for our needs and trust in the forgiveness offered by Jesus Christ for all of mankind, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel during this Lenten season.  AMEN.

It was not uncommon for wagons to enter towns out on the plains that had grown up as a result of the railroads.  To poor to travel via the horseless railways, the vendors that used wagons peddled tonics, trinkets, lotions and potions that claimed they could cure anything from athlete’s foot, to bad backs to heat rash to whooping cough.  Each salesman would enter town with signs and sales pitches that would convince people to give their last dollar in order to cure them of their malady.  Then as fast as the tonic was sold out, the people determined that they still had the disease or trouble, the vendor would slip out of town in the middle of the night.

Not unlike the vendors selling their tonics, today we will consider not a tonic, but a place, which appeared to have ‘magical abilities’.  Our place for consideration this morning in our series of People and Places of Lent is the Pool of Siloam.  Here from John 9: (John 9:1-12)
As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing. Therefore the neighbors, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, “Is not this the one who used to sit and beg?” Others were saying, “This is he,” still others were saying, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the one.” 10 So they were saying to him, “How then were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man who is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went away and washed, and I received sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is He?” He *said, “I do not know.”

In our lesson this morning it is not that Jesus took dirt, spit on it and applied it to the blind man’s eyes.  The key is what he asked the man to do, “Go to Siloam and wash”.  Jesus knew what the outcome would be, but the man only had Jesus actions and instructions.

The man who was blind acted out of complete faith and followed Jesus instructions.  It is this, his having faith in Jesus Christ that healed the man, not his washing in Siloam, but his firm belief that if he did what Jesus said, he would be healed.

The Pool of Siloam simply was a place to get water.  Literally translated ‘Pool of the Sent’, Jesus Christ the Son of God, Sent from the Father is sending this man to wash in the ‘Pool of the Sent’.  But remember it is not the pool that is of importance, it is the command of Jesus for this man to go and wash that shows the faith of the man in Jesus.

Notice what happens afterwards the people begin to doubt and think he is not the man who was blind.  They doubted because they could not and did not see with eyes of faith, but this man used the muscle of faith we take for granted and exercised it by following Jesus command and thus received his sight.

We today are not unlike the people of little faith who question the man who received his sight.  When a genuine miracle occurs we try to explain things away, doubt that it could have really happened and question at every twist and turn in the road.  But what this man models for us today is that God is calling us to have faith in Him and His continuous action in our lives.  It isn’t about the Pool of Siloam, a well that we use to irrigate our crops, nor a snow storm that gives us some moisture.  We are called to have faith in God and His promises.

God is calling us to use the muscle of faith given in our baptism to rely and trust solely in Him for His divine providence.  When Jesus spit on the dirt and put the clay over the mans eyes, he didn’t step back and question what Jesus was doing, but in true trust and faith relied upon God.  We are called to do the same thing.  We are called to seek God, ask for what we need and then trust God will provide for us.

When we face the challenges of this life, there is but one way to handle them, fighting the temptation to handle them our way and in faith deciding to handle them God’s Way.  God is calling us to have faith in Him and trust Him to provide for us.  The blind man trusted Jesus Christ, went to the Pool of Siloam, washed and regained his sight.  He exercised his muscle of faith and handled things God’s way.  May we exercise our muscle of faith and rely solely upon God as we continue on our journey of the people and places of Lent that remind us of Jesus Christ coming to save all of mankind, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel on our Lenten Pilgrimage.  AMEN.
//trial script