Marks of the Jesus Community
- Restoration to wholeness
sermon: walk through text
verse by verse
came to Jericho—on the way to J
know where you are on the journey
be here now but know when to keep
leaving: on the move
disciples and crowd:every J community
has those serious about their relationship
with Jesus and hangers on
BBB named,someone's child, sightless, outcast, life determined by his limitations,
and knows them
handicap not nec a neg today, but always
an opportunity for God to work
sitting stuck in place, passive,
no motivation to move
knows where the best chances are
hearing it was Jesus, how did he know?
Have you told someone lately where that
Jesus is near?
began to shout touch of hope, not so
Jesus son of David have mercy on me
knowing his own need he acts on the
word of hope
Shush the noisemakers, the boatrockers,
those who won't stay in their place
Tries again now he has hope he's
determined against those who normally
are his 'betters'
Jesus stops, listens I love it! Jesus stops
in the face of need. And when he stops,
the J comm stops—don't we?
instructs him to be brought J expects his community to be participants in his work—help the helpless, he says
crowd goes to him, get up perhaps the
most significant phrase in the story: encouraging: a change of attitude for the hangers on
when did I last tell someone Jesus was
waiting for them?
Cloak: cast off the stuff that identifies you
as the old you
sprang up: hope brings eagerness.
When we know our limits and find a
possible helper, lets spring up
what do you want as last week, we need
to listen to those in need name their deepest desire, not assume we know what's best for them—and we need to be able to name our own desire and take it to Jesus
what's your soul crying out for—God wants
Jesus gives Bartimaeus and us
the opportunity to speak or back down
it is always possible to pay no heed to the voice of invitation, to stay in our half life instead of the deep full life Jesus offers.
This joining the Jesus community is risky stuff. “No doubt it was hard for some of the people whom Jesus set free to accept their freedom...to relinguish an accustomed way of life as a blind begger” (Daniel Rees quoted in De Waal) De Waal goes on “we may feel safer clinging to our prison bars, where at least we know where we are.”
But this man has no such apprehensions.
Teacher acknowledging Jesus as a teacher signifies humility
make me see knows and admits his weakness, his limitations—what is my blindness? What blindness does our congregation have?
Go...faith...well wholeness is a participatory experience—God's power and our willingness to change
followed: not back to old life, not back to previous social position (Life of Brian) but forward to Jesus
on the way: bracket of movement; are we deflected by stuff, or ready to stay on course
This whole story is a great summary of the spiritual life, both of an individual and of the J community:
Jesus comm keep moving forward with purpose
yet stops to listen to the cries it hears
it sends emissaries to bring others in
asks about need, not assuming it knows
and above all restores people to wholeness.
The Jesus community commits itself not just to refreshment for the insiders, whether disciples or hangers on, but to restoration of all....insiders and outsiders..through encounters with the Divine.
So, today, where are we in the story, on the journey?
will we leave here challenged to change, as the hangers on were, simply refreshed as insiders, or restored to wholeness to join the journey forward with Jesus to a vision of a world restored, healed and at peace?
Jesus is calling for you. Get up, and come.