October 29, 2006

J. Evan Kreider - “Great things He has done”

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Evan Kreider reminded us of Mark 10's text (vs46-52) about the story of Blind Bartimaeus in the new-old city of Jericho. Being blind, Bartimeaeus was not only excluded from the temple, but also from contributing to society and was forced to beg. Jericho was no inauspicious location for him, being on the pilgrimage route. As Jesus passed by, Bartimaeus calls to Jesus “Son of David” and Jesus notices this beggar particularly. Bartimaeus throws off his cloak, seen by some as a symbol of casting his lot with Jesus. Jesus empowers the beggar “What do you want?” and performs a miracle. Bartimaeus is now clean, can offer sacrifices at the temple, and we hear nothing of him again. Evan pointed out the truth the early church saw fit to pass down to us in three gospels - that the person you see in front of you is important - is possibly more important than anything else except Jesus death and resurrection. Stopping everything, as Jesus did while on his way to destiny in Jerusalem, illustrates perfectly Jesus’ message. The empowerment of unnoticed, overlooked powerless people is the goal of the upside-down kingdom. What does that mean to us? Should we stop to talk to every beggar? How many beggars did Jesus walk past? Jesus, says he healed Bartimaeus because he had faith, but was true of many other stories in the Bible? Hardly - Scripture is studded with stories of martyrs whose prayers were not answered. Our faith often produces results inconsistent with our beliefs, especially when in prayer for healing, no healing occurs. Evan’s reply, just as it may hae beenJesus’ was Psalm 126 “Restore our fortunes, O Lord.” So when we are in Bartimaeus’ situation, let us hope we listen when our friends tell us “Get up, Jesus is calling.” [AP]


Passage: Jer 31:7-9, Ps 126; Heb 7:23-28; Mk 10:46-52
Communion: No
Ecumenical or Event:
Potluck Lunch: No
Congregational Meeting: No


Speaker: J. Evan Kreider
Worship Leader: Karl Brown
Song Leader: Paul Thiessen
Pianist: Ruth Enns
Usher: Henry Neufeld
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