Sunday, May 26, 2019
6th Sunday of Easter
First Reading: Acts 16:9-15
Second Reading: Rev. 21:10; 21:22-22:5
Gospel Reading: John 14:23-29 or John 5:1-9
The liturgical color for the day is: White
The pool at Bethsaida. This is a story of great faith. Yet, it is about a kind of faith that does not come in an instant, a moment, or even a day. It is a story of faith that endures and is persistent. This man had amazing faith—to come to the pool there at Bethsaida day in and day out without even an iota of knowledge if there would be someone willing to lower him into the water. That is faith!
We see in him a trusting and believing without clarity or roadmap—such is an amazing faith. And then along comes Jesus. Jesus likely singled the man out because he could see that faith in him.
All those years long he had faith, but it was now the moment when he was to see where his faith should be placed. His faith was not to be placed in the pool, but in the person. His faith was not to be placed in the stirring waters of the pool, but in God and in Jesus. His faith was to be placed in the Son of Humanity standing before him.
“Take up your mat and walk.” It is a directive. The man could have ignored the directive. He could have scoffed at the notion. But he does attempt to move those legs and to prop himself up on them. In the doing we are told that he has been made well and he does, in fact, pick up that mat and walk away.
He has found healing—yes! But, he found the location, the place, and the focus of where his faith is to be. It is to be in the God of this man—it is to be in the God of this man Jesus of Nazareth. Such IS the story and continues to be the story.
Our circumstances shift, but the story is the same. It is not about if we have faith or not—we all have faith in something. It is about where we place our faith. We are to place our faith in God and in God’s ability to work in our living and through us.
Our confidence is not in the pool, or our ability to get into the pool, or even our hope that one day the waters will be stirring. Our confidence is in the one who directs us with that holy directive: “Take up your mat and walk.”
When we move out of our thinking that it is about our abilities and step into the truth that it is about God and God’s abilities—then we are living the life where we “take up (our) mat and walk.”
Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena