Friday, 26 October 2012

What do you want Jesus to do for you?

Mark 10: 46-52

I find the story of Jesus and blind Bartimaeus an amazing one.

It’s amazing that when everyone else in the crowd is telling the blind beggar to shut up, Jesus notices him calling out & stands still. Even though Jesus & his followers were just on their way out of the town of Jericho, Jesus stops & says ‘call him here’.

It’s amazing that Jesus can and does heal Bartimaeus – Jesus somehow makes him to see again, and then instead of sitting and begging, Bartimaeus can decide to follow Jesus.

But I think the most amazing bit of the story is when Jesus asks Bartimaeus, a blind man who cannot work and who just manages to scratch a living, the question ‘what do you want me to do for you?’.
It might seem obvious what Bartmaeus is asking for – but Jesus takes time not only to listen to his call and to heal him, but he takes time to find out what Bartimaeus wants.

And Jesus asks us that today. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’
Our answer to the question might depend on what we think Jesus can do. Bartimaeus is sure that Jesus could make him see again – and he did.
What can Jesus do for you? What can he do for me?

Today we celebrate the fresh start – of baptism – that Jesus offers Grace and Jack. A chance to celebrate being born into a world where they are loved by their family and loved by God. And that fresh start isn’t just for today – Jesus will keep offering them a fresh start whenever they need it. What do you want Jesus to do for you? Give you a fresh start? It’s yours.
Maybe today we want to celebrate love in our lives: the love of family, the love of friends, the love of God who knows everything about us, knows all our bad habits and mistakes and failures – and loves us anyway. What do you want Jesus to do for you? Help you know that you’re loved, whoever you are? He can give you that.

Or maybe today you’re facing a difficult stage of life. Maybe you just want to know that someone is with you, even when it’s tough. What do you want Jesus to do for you? Be with you in everything life throws at you? He’s there.

We’ve heard just this one story from the Bible of what God, in Jesus, can do for us. The Bible is full of stories of all sorts of ways in which God’s love reaches us to people. God reaches out in Jesus and in other ways too – healing, loving, comforting, guiding. So today I have a gift for Grace & Jack – a book of Bible stories. I hope that as they hear them and as friends and family read them to them, they will learn what God can do & wants to do in their lives.

And I also have a gift for everyone here – the bread and wine of communion. When we eat the bread and drink the wine we remember that in Jesus the love of God was so great that he gave his life – suffered and died – for us. So whatever you want Jesus to do for you, you are welcome to eat this bread and drink this wine as a sign of  the promise of God’s fresh start, of God’s love & of God’s presence with you your whole life. Of course you might prefer just to sit and think, or to come up for a blessing rather than communion itself – it’s your choice.

But whatever you choose, may everyone here know God’s blessing, today and always. Amen.

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