This week I had a couple of themes interwoven into my sermon.
The first theme begins with 1 Samuel 16. Samuel, a prophet of our Lord, anoints David as king while King Saul is still on the throne.
David not of the royal family, but of a family of shepherds. David was the youngest of eight sons and the runt of the litter, not who we would imagine God choosing as our king. We know the mighty things that David would come to do. We also know how flawed and sinful of a man he was. A Dominican (Catholic Order) monk classmate once said “you can sin like King David, if you can repent like him”. Despite the flaws, David remained a man after God’s own heart.
In our John 9 text, Jesus heals a man born blind as a miracle and a teaching about sin and illness (disability) in a culture that believed the two were connected. This man in the drama that unfolds becomes a symbol of God’s glory.
These two stories remind us that God works through unexpected people in unexpected ways.
The second (theme), I want to begin with Psalm 23. A Psalm about being shepherded, a Psalm attributed to King David.
We are shepherded upon a path during our lifetime, a path that includes both dark and bright days. During Lent, we focus on these image of being on a journey to the cross, a journey that requires self-reflection.
See, our John 9 text begins with the disciples channeling their “childish” inquires, their curious about why the man was born blind, was it his sin or the sins of his parents. Christ response is “neither his parents nor his” and this miracle coupled with the teaching emphasizes that Christ is the Light of the World. Our Ephesians 5 text is built on that and refers to us as the Children of Light.
But what happens, when that Light of truth, of love, of mercy, and of grace exposes our own darkness, our sins, our flaws, [and] our wrong doings. As a seminary professor (Jane Strohl) once said, we attack against it viciously.
My question is different from that of the disciples. My question is not ‘whose sin causes what’, but rather why are we obsessed with the sin of others?
I encourage each of us to truly embrace the self-reflective nature that is Lent, during this week, this season, and beyond to expose our own darkness with the light of truth, in order that we can seek repentance, seek opportunities to confess and receive forgiveness, and to be reconciled with God and our neighbors. Amen.
1 Samuel 16: 1-13, Psalm 23, Ephesians 5: 8-14, and John 9: 2-41.
Originally Preached on March 26, 2017 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.