Don't Miss The Miracles
In the Gospel of John there is a passage that relates the story of how Jesus healed a man near the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem--a spot where a number of sick people would lie.
We learn that the man had been an "invalid" for thirty-eight years, and the moment of his healing is related this way:
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
So this guy is healed and walks away carrying his mat--walking upright and well for the first time in thirty-eight years.
But then he encounters the overly-religious people in the community who take offense at the fact that he is "working" on the Sabbath. Here's what they said to him:
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
Don't you just love that?
This guy had been flat on his back for thirty-eight years. Most of these religious types would have visited the Pool of Bethesda repeatedly, and most likely would have seen him lying there at one point in time or another.
And because they are more concerned about the fact that he is breaking some kind of rule, they miss the miracle.
How often do those of us who claim to follow Jesus miss out on his miracles in the world today because we're too busy focusing on our religious checklists?
How often do we not even see what new things Jesus is doing in the world because we're too busy being outraged or boycotting something or another that we don't agree with?
May we all train our eyes to see Jesus at work in the world--healing, restoring, resurrecting and making all things new. May we lift our heads from our checklists and fix our eyes on Jesus and Jesus alone.
And may we truly see how, through Jesus, God is drawing all of Creation (and all of us) ever closer to God. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.