Sit comfortably and shut your eyes. Imagine what it must have been like for the man born blind in a society that had neither sympathy nor a means of helping him. Imagine now meeting Jesus – you can’t see him, but he is in front of you and you can hear his voice. He is calling you, seeking you out. He touches your eyes. He puts something on them. He asks you to wash in the pool. Why did he seek you out? Why did he heal you? After a pause, invite people to open their eyes. You are now face to face with Jesus. What do you see? What do you say?
Read and reflect
In this story, full of comings and goings, many choose either not to believe what they see, or not to own up to it. The Pharisees just will not believe that the man has received his sight by God’s miracle; either he was cheating before or he is cheating now, or dubious powers are involved. What do you think?
Are we ever obstinate? Puzzled? Fearful? What sort of person today might be treated in a similar way to the man in the story? That is, whose story might not be believed, simply because of what or who they are? How do we respond if we are told something that disturbs us, takes us ‘out of our comfort zone’? Are we less likely to listen to, or accept into our fellowship, someone who is disruptive? How do we respond to something that is unexplained, or that we cannot understand?
If we can accept that we are all, to a greater or lesser extent, a bit like that, how might we recognise the work of God’s Spirit – particularly as Scripture tells us that the work of the Spirit is to disturb us? How can we avoid hiding from the possibility that there is more to life than we know or have yet encountered?
Look and see
Search online for visual illusions to appreciate that it is not always obvious what we are actually seeing.
Listen and sing
I stand in awe, Chris Tomlin feat. Nicole Serrano on Holy roar
Right where you want me, Sarah Reeves on Easy never needed you
Because of your love, Soul survivor feat. Tim Hughes on Be my everything
Traditional hymns: Take my life and let it be, Be thou my vision
Choosing to believe
We choose to believe lots of different things every day, often without having or knowing the proof, e.g. you believe that there is something called electricity, and that it comes from the socket on the wall. If you turn a tap on, you can see the water, but you cannot see the electricity, only its effect. Can you think of other examples? What do you believe as part of you Christian faith? Why?