Wednesday, January 18, 2006



WORD WEEK 01-01-06


MARK 8:22-26 KJV
The Healing of a Blind Man at Bethsaida

22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?" 24 He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around." 25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, "Don't go into the village.

MARK 10:46-52 KJV
Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight

46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" 49 Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you." 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. 51 "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see." 52 "Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

The New Year 2006 is here! You have really made it via the blessings and
challenges of the year 2005! Congratulations!
God be praised!

Beloved of GOD, now that you are standing on the precipice of a brand new Year, what do you see? How do you see this perspective differently? In what ways do you see the divine horizon with new eyes and a fresh perspective? What work are you willing to do with "self" that compels you to be a more loving, open, empathic, patient, and an unconditionally giving human being? While many persons have recommitted themselves to ongoing improvement, some persons have revised their itinerary for the New Year, others have pledged to turn over a new lease on life, and still others have carried the same weights that have denied their joy, peace, happiness, health, wholeness, and connectedness from prior years into the year 2006.
Over the past several weeks as we journeyed with Joseph and the pregnant Mary into the night in pursuit of safety, we were required to flee a place of the familiar and predictable in exchange for a place of the unfamiliar and the unpredictable; i.e., from Jerusalem to Egypt! While on this journey, many of us quietly inquired about the veracity of GOD'S plan given Mary's condition. During this journey, our conversation with both Joseph and Mary provided each of us with an opportunity and a point of reference to become more intimately acquainted with their pathos as well as the requirement of an exodus in their narrative and as well as our own personal narrative.
Moreover, we learned, as the journey continued to unfold and the landscape of Jerusalem and all that was familiar to Joseph and Mary began to fade into the background becoming a silhouette of gray and memory in the background of their existence commensurate with the landscape of Egypt that was quickly becoming magnified in the foreground of their approach and anticipation, that the spiritual journey is fraught with the requirement of change and necessary losses; i.e., repeated arrivals and departures.
Significantly, we learned that The Holy Family packed only that which was essential and were required to leave behind the both the comfort and familiarity of loved ones, family, friends, community, safety, and treasured material possessions that had helped to render meaning to their existence. In essence, they had to relinquish familiarity and embrace that which was clandestine, except to the mind and soul of GOD! As Mary, Joseph, and the Christ-Child escaped into the darkness of the night, they were about to embark upon a new day! All three were about to encounter the Divine Dynamic of GOD which implies that freedom scares and slavery secures; i.e., when the LORD does work in each of us, with each of us, and through each of us, oftentimes, we must shift from the familiar and predictable to the unfamiliar and the unpredictable. In essence, we are frequently provoked and invited to leave our Jerusalem and flee to that which is to become our Egypt!
The Divine Dynamic of GOD requires that one not only shifts his/her location [within context or beyond context], but requires that one must shift his/her perspective for a shift in location only means that we are taking the same baggage with us, but changing the place that we sit it down. In essence, wherever we go, we take ourselves.
Consequently, an amplification of the two aforementioned narratives; i.e., one in Mark 8:22-26 and the other in Mark 10:46-52 both deal with the perspective of blindness, perspective, and the requirement that he/she who desires sight be amenable to spiritual intimacy and receptive to change in order to be granted sight.
First, as we journey through the narrative of Mark 8:22-26, we become the witnessing faith community to Jesus who arrived at Bethsaida. We are pushed along with the crowd who brought the Blind Man to Jesus. The Blind Man pleaded with Jesus to touch him. Jesus responded by taking the man by the hand and led him outside of the village. Subsequently, Jesus used spittle and placed his hands over the Blind Man eyes who responded that he saw people, but they looked like trees walking around. Jesus repeated a second time what he had done moments prior and the Blind Man is no longer blind but has his sight restored.
Secondly, as we journey through the narrative of Mark 10:46-52, we become the witnessing faith community for a second time to Jesus and the disciples who were leaving the city of Jericho. Our attention is interrupted as we hear the echoes of a man who appeared homeless and blind. His name was Bartimaeus. The faith community made repeated overtures to encourage Bartimaeus to refrain from making what they believed a spectacle of himself and the community. Jesus implored to the community to cease its discouragement. Consequently, Jesus called the blind man to him who made a request for sight. Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
While both narratives clearly illustrate that intimacy with GOD undoubtedly results in the manifestation of healing and transformation in a plethora of forms, both narratives illustrate that anything new in which we as the Beloved People of GOD must embark, requires both an external and internal paradigmatic shift commensurately. The paradigmatic shift that one is invited to embrace requires NEW LENSES!
As we revisit the Advent events as well as the events that are subsequent to Advent, GOD'S People are repeatedly invited to adjust their perspective; i.e., lenses. We witnessed circumstances quickly change with the recognition of GOD'S favor as what we as a witnessing community thought that we wanted, we really did not, because far too many of us felt that the requirements petitioned more then we desired to render. An amplified look at both Sight Narratives in the text of Mark illustrates that The Divine Dynamic of GOD requires that there are three dimensions of lenses adjustment to which we must ascribe in order to see; to become empowered; to become whole. The three dimensions are like that of trifocal lenses. The three lenses are as follows: 1] Site, 2] Sight, and 3] Insight.
First, Site deals with the physiological arrangement of circumstances and our "isness." Site encapsulates the places that we live, work, worship, rest, and play. Site is our backdrop/schemea. Oftentimes, even the people of GOD can become enslaved by their relationship to site. Site is important as it sets the tone and the action for the events of our lives to unfold as well as provides a backdrop to the manner in which we ascribe meaning and understanding to our existence. Life is a journey full of beauty, joy, anticipation, surprise, paradox, and pain. During the course of our lives, many of us have witnessed joy as well as a those things that have caused us to experience profound suffering. Over the past 40 years, many of our lives have been radically transformed by such events as the Vietnam War; starvation in Somalia; 911; the War in Iraq; numerous terrorist attacks; Tsunami; Hurricane Katrina; the lists continues. Site provides us with a reference point to understand the world.
Secondly, Sight deals with that which we see and sense. We are undoubtedly impacted and inundated by the suffering and injustice that we see in the world. Marked tradegies such the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and President John F. Kennedy; the HIV epidemic; the explosion of the space shuttle are examples of the kinds of events to which we have been involuntary witnesses.
Thirdly, Insight deals with the manner in which we integrate the experience of site and sight and allow these experiences to open us to the movement of The Holy Spirit in our lives. Insight is an ongoing process, some of which can be painful, yet greatly liberating and empowering causing us to truly live!
In essence, the three dimensions that are evident in the two Sight Narratives are that of Site, Sight, and Insight. Our connection to GOD in a life affirming manner requires that we embrace all three. Both The Blind Man and Bartimaeus had to be willing to shift their physical location [Site], change their perspective of "self," others, and the world [Sight], and integrate those experiences [Insight] in order to live and become more loving! Their capacity to live was enhanced by a trifocal lenses adjustment! Have you adjusted your lenses for the New Year? The three Sights/Sites are significant as their integration in our lives affects our Attitude, Action, and Altitude like that of the interrelatedness of the Father, Son, and The Holy Spirit.
Site = Father = Attitude
Sight = Son = Action
Insight = Holy Spirit = Altitude


K. Mason
(c) 2005
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