Being Seen and Known

Scholars conjecture that this healing encounter with Jesus happened in conjunction with the Passover celebration. We can only imagine the smells permeating the areas surrounding the Sheep Gate. How many sheep might have trudged that path? And where was hope among those sick - the blind, lame and paralyzed - lying beside the "pool of mercy"? This encounter might turn our tidy theology of healing upside down. Does healing always depend on desire and faith?

Place yourself in the story - inhabit this passage of scripture. Allow Jesus, the God-man to see you. Become present to his gaze...

John 5:1-9 NLT
Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. 3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
7 “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”
8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath,

For Reflection and Prayer:
What caught your attention as you listened to the text? Have a conversation with Jesus about what you heard.

Was there a particular feeling you experienced as you listened to the story? Bring that feeling into your prayer. How do you need Jesus to meet you in that feeling?

Be still and savor any consoling words or pictures in your prayer.

 

Holding on to God's Hand

Bring all your senses into this time of prayer.

In a safe place, allow God to take you by the hand and tenderly show you God’s ways of mercy, love and truth. Notice how God’s hand feels. Is there a safe place you would like God to take you? Where are God’s ways of mercy, love and truth intersecting with your life? Enjoy God’s gracious company. Is there a particular member of the Trinity whose company you are most drawn to today?

Be at rest in God’s company. Take your shoes off. You are home.

Psalm 25:1-10 (NIV)
1 In you, LORD my God,
    I put my trust.
2 I trust in you;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one who hopes in you
    will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
    who are treacherous without cause.
4 Show me your ways, LORD,
    teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love,
    for they are from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth
    and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
    for you, LORD, are good.
8 Good and upright is the LORD;
    therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
9 He guides the humble in what is right
    and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
    toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.

For Reflection and Prayer:
What words or phrases stood out for you?  What pictures were formed in your mind while reading/hearing the scriptures?

In this passage the reader looks at waiting as a spiritual practice.  What are your experiences of waiting for God?  Are you waiting for something right now?  What does waiting feel like? Look like?  How do you feel about waiting for anything? Draw a picture of what waiting looks like for you now.

Who were your spiritual teachers in your past?  What did you learn from them? Who are the teachers and guides on your spiritual path today? What are you learning from them?  What would you wish to learn from them? 

Pause for a moment and give names to the blessings that encircle you today. What picture(s) comes to mind as you ponder blessings and gratitude? Let gratitude make its home in you as you remain focused on the One who protects you.