Fourth Sunday in Lent
April 3, 2011
Text: John 9:1-7, 13-17, 34-39
In Pittsburgh, PA there is a wonderful mission agency called the Pittsburgh Lutheran Center for the Blind. They do a wonderful job of providing Christians resources for people with all degrees of sight impairment. The Sunday School at the congregation that I served at the time decided to make the Pittsburgh Lutheran Center for the Blind their mission project one year. This meant that a portion of the offerings the children brought to Sunday School were earmarked for this mission agency. We decided to try to raise awareness of this need one time by putting on a special Sunday School sponsored potluck dinner.
One of the things we did was encourage people to wear blindfolds while they ate, so that they could get a sense for what it’s like. We had the director of the agency come and talk to us, who is himself blind, and he brought his service dog, Max. One of our own members, who was significantly vision impaired also spoke and demonstrated some of the nifty gadgets that are available today to help blind people, like talking clocks and stencils for writing checks.
We intentionally planned our blind ministry awareness dinner on a Saturday evening when the Gospel reading for the next morning would be this very text that we read today from John chapter 9, Jesus healing the blind man. While the disciples were engaged in abstract speculations about who sinned for this man to be afflicted this way, Jesus rolls up His sleeves and gets His hands dirty. While the disciples are analyzing, Jesus is doing. While they are theorizing, He is healing.