A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pre-Sunday (Oct. 28) Worship Reflections - Blind Bartimeaus

Our Youth Director, Sandra Yerian recently participated an assignment through her Certified Lay Ministry training led by our West Ohio Conference. In this assignment, the class was asked to write about the Bartimeaus scripture reading which we will be hearing about this Sunday (October 28) in worship.

Specifically, her assignment was to imagine that you are Bartimaeus- write a letter home explaining why you are not on your spot on the side of road any longer.  A big thanks to Sandra for sharing her reflections with us!

Dear brother,

How shocked you must have been coming to the road to get me at the end of the days work, only to find me missing. Did you worry? Perhaps you though I'd been run over by a cart, and discarded. Maybe you feared I'd finally annoyed the wrong Roman, and was now locked up, or being put to death . Were you relieved brother? I know what a burden it must have been to have to care for me. How embarrassing that your brother has no value or purpose other than begging.
Was anyone still on the road when you came?? No? Then you are about to hear a most extraordinary thing!

I sat as always listening to the world pass me by, a few coins fell in my lap, but mostly dust rained down on me. I was thirsty. I was so discouraged and ashamed- I don't think there was even enough money thrown my way to pay for my bread. I began to think of perhaps stumbling into the roadway when I next felt the rumble of Roman horses approach. Perhaps I could die under their hooves, and no longer bear the stigma of blind beggar, burden.

I felt however a different rumble. Footsteps pounding the road excitedly. Many, many sets of feet. Then voices; first an excited murmur, then distinguishable snippets:
“friend of sinner”

As the crowd grew near, the excitement grew! This was the Jesus I've heard about- travelling this road- about to pass ME.

I knew in that crowd he would never see a blind beggar on the side of the road, but suddenly I knew without doubt- my being was filled with certainty and hope- here came my savior- the promised one!
It was like he was coming to save ME.

Without thinking I shouted “ Son of David, have mercy on me” I felt anxiety ripple through the crowd around me. Someone slapped me: “SHHHhh fool! keep quiet.” But I couldn't stop, all my hope was now resting in him. “Jesus” I shouted all the more “have mercy on me”

Then , I felt the ground grow still. He stopped! all the voices were silent.
“Bartemaeus” he asked “what do you want me to do for you?” I was stunned. Surely he knew. I felt the crowd shift anxiously.  I didn't hesitate. “Teacher, let me see again”  I held my breath. Expectancy, curiosity hung in the air. I felt a few begin to walk again. Oh no.. Jesus…dont leave me… But He hadn't moved at all. “Come here.”

My heart nearly exploded in my chest! I lept up, bouncing off the others as I stumbled towards him.
His Presence enveloped me. “Go, your faith has healed you”. in a flash, the darkness fell from my eyes, and I beheld the beautiful, penetrating gaze of the Messiah!

What joy filled my heart! I must follow, I cannot bear to leave his side, greedily I feed my soul in his presence. I watch as he heals others, listen as he teaches, and shout out what he did for me every chance I get!

I do not know where we are going- he tries to explain, but I am simple and don't understand, I just know I must continue on this journey with Him. Be well Brother. Praise be to God.

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