Week 34 Sunday

Whose Fault Is It?

Today’s scripture selection: John 7-9

Key Verses: John 9:1-3

Jesus and his disciples were going about their business when they came upon a man blind from birth.

The disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus told them it wasn’t anybody’s fault.  But it was an opportunity for God’s handiwork – and compassion – to be put on display.  And a few minutes later, thanks to Jesus, the man had his sight – for the first time in his life.

Isn’t that just like people? To focus on cause, or blame, or worry over the reason for some problem or defect or sin, especially when talking about someone else’s problems.

But Jesus – he re-sets the focus completely.

Don’t worry about what caused it.

Don’t worry about why that person is the way they are.

Don’t worry about whether you think they should be different; or make different choices; or anything else.

Just see the need – and in the name of God’s compassion – do something about it.

That’s why Jesus kept talking about his disciples being the light of the world or the salt of the earth or taking up their cross of servant leadership and following Him.

Because when it comes right down to it – it doesn’t matter so much why a person is suffering, as that we do something about it.

But it’s easier to stay in the abstract world of ideas. It’s easy to sit sipping tea and talking with the good rabbi about what exactly he means when he refers to the “kingdom of God.”

It’s a lot harder to be kingdom people – and learn for ourselves.


Prayer: Lord, empower me; guide me; send me in your name – that others may be touched by your love.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton


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