Blessed… Hush and Be Satisfied

As Jesus and his disciples were going out of Jericho a large crowd followed him. When two blind men sitting along the road heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Show us mercy, Lord, Son of David!” Now the crowd scolded them and told them to be quiet. But they shouted even louder, “Show us mercy, Lord, Son of David!” Jesus stopped in his tracks and called to them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. “Lord, we want to see,” they replied.  Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they were able to see, and they followed him (Matthew 20:29-34, Common English Bible).

We live in a world where people search for meaning. The people around us search for significance. We want to have meaning. We want to have purpose. A common buzz word for the significance people search for is “truth.” And, for many, it continues to be an exercise in futility because these same people seem to spend their time looking in all the wrong places.

It seems to me, many of these people are as blind spiritually as the two men in the lesson were blind physically. They spend their day waiting and hoping, hoping that people will show mercy on them. In Jesus’ day, this was the only way for a blind person to support themselves, to go out and beg.

When the two men in our lesson heard Jesus was coming, they wanted to make that connection. They shouted for Jesus to have mercy on them. Those around them told them, in essence, “Shut up. Be satisfied with your ability to beg. You shouldn’t bother Jesus with your foolishness.”

I fear that this, all too often is the role the Church plays in the lives of the spiritually blind. We know about the One who has the power to change lives, to REALLY change lives and we all too often tend to treat it like it is an issue of the highest national security. We act as though we don’t know what the power of Jesus can do and refuse to share it with a hurting world.

I have heard it said, “The Church, at its best is a place where one hobo can tell another hobo where to find bread.” That is what we should be, for starters. But, we should be something even more. We should be the place that feeds a hungry world. But we should also be the place where the world learns about real significance. We should be the place where people hear the Good News that God loves them. The Church should be the place where real, hurting people find significance, purpose and truth. It is a place where people can quickly learn that they have found the right place for all those things.

The Church and Christians should, not in the Biblical era, not in any time past, the present or in the future be a place where the spiritual hurting of the world hear, “Be quiet.”

Where else should people go to find significance and meaning for their lives?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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