Sermon Notes, May 22, 2022
1After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. 3In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 7The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” 8Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” 9At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.
Grace and Peace-
Oh, how this time calls for healing. Our own prayer list seems to ever expand with those we know and love with Covid. And Numbers are up, all over. Tensions between people, between countries, between families seem to have gone in so many places right to the breaking, bursting point. Depression and anxiety cover our lives- burdening more and more of our young people, all the time.
Hate- hate! Screams for voice- and screams that voice must be absolute.
Oh, how this time calls for healing. For peace in our hearts, Peace in our homes, Peace in our lives, Peace in our world.
Close your ears to the clamor, right now- so that you can hear. Close your eyes to the pain, for a moment—so that you can see. Take a breath- a deep breath- against the worry, the hurt, the very real trauma that is all around us and about us. That you might live, and breathe.
Peace. Healing is the very gift that Jesus, Risen from the Dead, present among us, gathered in his name, brings and gives.
2Now in Jerusalem,” the gospel of John tells- “by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. 3In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years,”
In that time- A lifetime.
38 years, he had been by the pool- and every time it stirred, every single time, no one was present to lift the man in. Every single time—every single time, for 38 years—others had crowded him out.
Jesus sees the man, and seeing, speaks: “Stand up, take your mat and walk.”
At Jesus’ word, by Jesus presence, the man was made well. He took up his mat. He began to walk.
Jesus, risen from the dead, does not come to condemn.
Jesus, risen from the dead, does not come to say only Resurrected life- not life on this earth- matters. Jesus, risen from the dead. Is God in the flesh- God risen In in flesh witness
To the incredible: God wills us healing.
Healing comes in many ways. Sometimes, forgiveness where we last expect forgiveness to be. Sometimes, a new heart within us- an ability to love that we had not known we were capable of, Sometimes, the presence of hope, where it had been all but gone. Sometimes, by saving us from ourselves. Sometimes, by physical healing. Sometimes, by carrying us through grief that knows no healing.
To proclaim, as we do in this season, that Christ is Risen!- He is Risen Indeed!
Is to proclaim and trust that in Christ, here, Christ now, Christ risen from the dead, life has won in life, love won the battle, grace taken the day, healing given . . . for the nations.
You, people of God, carry the sign of the cross on your foreheads- the sign and promise that in every struggle, every trouble, every pain, Christ has triumphed- and each of our lives, carried with him. Even when we cannot now see it.
And as we stand in that promise- As we take up our own pallets, and walk in it-
A different bearing. A different way. A different reaching. A different being . . . .
There is healing, real healing, in the trouble all around us
That ever tries to take us
But in Christ Jesus,
Risen from the Dead,