What if it Had Been Tuesday?

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 1 Chronicles 28-29; John 9:24-41

26 They questioned him: “What did he do to you? How did he heal your eyes?”

27 He replied, “I already told you, and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”

28 They insulted him: “You are his disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples.29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but we don’t know where this man is from.”

30 The man answered, “This is incredible! You don’t know where he is from, yet he healed my eyes! 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners. God listens to anyone who is devout and does God’s will. 32 No one has ever heard of a healing of the eyes of someone born blind. 33 If this man wasn’t from God, he couldn’t do this.”

34 They responded, “You were born completely in sin! How is it that you dare to teach us?” Then they expelled him. (John 9:26-34, Common English Bible).

In a sermon not too long ago, I talked about how we love the acronym, “TGIF, Thank God it’s Friday.” When Friday rolls around we are ready to get away from the office of the plant or the whatever it is we call our work (of course if you are self-employed or in one of any number of other professions, there is no Friday or at least there isn’t a day that matters in the same manner. If you work in retail or the food industry, you work when the boss puts you on the schedule. One day is just like any other, whether it is Tuesday or Sunday.

Still, most of us love TGIF so much, a restaurant chain named their eateries after the letters. It might not be as effective if we were talking about Tuesday. Friday means the end of the grind. Friday means time off. Friday means being able to play with the kids. Friday means being able to relax.

But what would you say if I told you that our happiness isn’t based on a day of the week? Really, it’s true. According to a major university study (sorry, when I write these I never know the direction they will take when I start out and today I don’t have the source with me), we are not measurably happier on Friday than we are on Monday or Tuesday.

Today’s lesson from John is a continuation of yesterday’s lesson from John, the healing of a man who was blind from birth. The Pharisees are furious over it, presumably because Jesus healed the guy on the Sabbath.

It makes me wonder, would they have been happy if Jesus healed the guy on a Tuesday? Without question, it would have taken at least part of the Pharisee’s argument away. But I think Jesus really did care that it wasn’t Tuesday. He was, in my humble opinion, quite happy this did happen on a Sabbath. In his Gospel account, Mark tells us, “The Sabbath was created for humans; humans weren’t created for the Sabbath…”

As far as the Pharisees, I think they were a bit happier it happened on the Sabbath because it did give them an argument to use with Jesus, or so they thought. What they really wanted was for Jesus to play by their rules, regardless of what day he was doing something.

For Jesus, this wasn’t about the day of the week, it was about bringing grace and wholeness, the ability to live a full life to a man who had never known what a full life is like. That is something that was and still is central to what Jesus taught. People come first!

Does that mean we should ignore the Sabbath? Of course not. We honor the Sabbath when we can, but where people are concerned, they come first because, “The Sabbath was created for humans, not humans for the Sabbath.”

There is one more thing, this is something the Pharisees actually did get right. They accuse the now former blind man of being “…born completely in sin.” They did get that part right. He was born completely in sin. But, so were they. So are we. Every human born of the face of this earth, save one, has been born a sinner. And that is why we all need grace. Grace isn’t just for those Jesus heals, God heals. Grace is something for you and for me. Grace is something we can have at no cost. And that grace, it changes everything. It changes it regardless of the day. Be it a Tuesday or the Sabbath, when we experience grace as the blind man experienced grace, God just changed our lives. Then maybe, just maybe, we might be a little more committed when the next Sabbath or even the next Tuesday comes around.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

 

 

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro 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. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also 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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