22/03/2020

Bible Text: John 9:1-41 |

Series:

Notes

“Something much stranger, at once more mysterious and more hopeful, is going on. The chaos and misery of this present world is, it seems, the raw material out of which the loving, wise and just God is making his new creation.”
(NT Wright, New Testament for Everyone: John 1. p135)

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter."
Isaiah 5:20

“By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.”
1 John 4:13

Reflection

Here is a meditation on the opening verse of Psalm 23.  Sit a while and let your own thoughts gather.

Psalm 23 reflection

Prayer

Rt Rev Colin Sinclair offers us this prayer as we deal with a new illness in our communities.

A prayer as we face the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Living God,

In our hour of need we turn again to you, for we have nowhere else to turn. We put our faith in you, because you have proved your faithfulness time and again. We reaffirm our love for you because you have never let us go. We thank you that you are not distant from us, but have drawn near, in your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. He has shared our life, tasted our death and defeated it; He understands our worries and our fears.

Help us to respond as your children now.

We pray for this pandemic spreading across our world, remembering all who have lost loved ones, and praying for those seriously ill at this time.

We uphold the National Health Service, as it responds to this added pressure on its already overstretched services. We pray for doctors and nurses and all in the caring professions, who work to help and support people as best they can. We remember those working behind the scenes, testing samples, confirming results, giving information to patients. We uphold others trying to understand this virus better, working to create an effective remedy.

We pray for our Governments in Westminster and Holyrood, as they work with the best medical advice, to guide us on how we should respond, and what action we should take. We pray that these guidelines might be taken seriously and that all would put them into action.

May this crisis bring out the best in us, not the worst. Help us to live by faith and not by fear; to build bridges not barriers, and to resist all who would speak ill of any other group. May we not forget our responsibility to one another, not least to the vulnerable and voiceless in our communities. Help us to find ways of keeping in touch and offering reassurance to those with underlying health issues; for any who feel particularly vulnerable, or in danger at present.

As the virus spreads we pray for the disruption it causes to normal life, bringing new fears and anxieties. We pray for those who have been laid off as their work disappears; for financial hardship for individuals and businesses; for the impact on the economy and pensions, when austerity has already left its mark.

We pray for those whose trips, both for business and pleasure, have been cancelled; and others where events, long anticipated and planned for, have been postponed; for those making contingency planning for home based work or child care or exams. May our inconvenience not blind us to others’ loss.

We remember those who cannot visit loved ones in locked-down care homes; for the elderly whose social contacts have been severely curtailed; help us to find creative ways of keeping in touch, of assuring them they are not forgotten or ignored.

May congregations find new ways of living though this time. May we not forget our faith, but draw strength from it. So may our worship be heartfelt, our fellowship deepen, and our service increase.

God of grace and God of mercy, hear our prayers at this time. Strengthen us, by your Spirit, so that we may carry on our lives as best as we are able, looking out for others, showing love in action, being faithful in prayer, and bringing encouragement, hope and peace; always trusting in you, our Rock and our Redeemer.

These prayers we bring to you in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

Worship

 

Ephesians 5:8-9

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth).

Use the box below to leave a comment or thought to encourage another visitor

8 thoughts on “He washed and came back seeing

  1. Thanks for an uplifting and thought provoking sermon. Hope that we are all able to see God in this situation.

  2. Thank you for enabling us to join in worship with our brothers and sisters even though we are confined to our own homes. Thank you Jonny for your the message you have given us today. Praise God for the advances of modern digital technology that makes this possible. God’s Word will not be silenced and we take comfort in knowing he is forever faithful. Do not be afraid, for he is with you. He will shepherd us today and always.

  3. Thank you Jonny for reminding us that we can bring light into the darkness and help people see Jesus even in these days where we are unusually isolated from each other.

  4. Thank you Jonny for helping to shine God’s light into the darkness of our world. And for sharing prayers for ourselves and others. May we all keep the eyes of our hearts open towards the Spirit’s prompting during these unprecedented times of uncertainty.

  5. Thank you for the opportunity to share in your service of worship and to hear God’s word again today. We have a prayer group at St John’s linked with St Paul’s Galashiels which continues during this time using WhatsApp. We will continue to pray for the ministry and congrgation at Newhills.

  6. Thanks Jonny. Having listened to your sermon we now know that today is SUNDAY! We understand that ‘there are none so blind as those who will not see’ and that gives us a big mission field, at times with ourselves included. Well done.

    Kathy and Charlie

  7. We can sometimes be nervous about sharing our faith. But we must trust in our God who has promised to be with us: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ (Joshua 1:9). God loves and cares for us. If we open our spiritual eyes we will see how God wants to use us, especially today. Alleluia!

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