3rd week of Lent, Gospel of John Series
Invitation to Worship:
Leader: Open my eyes that I may see
All: Glimpses of Truth thou hast for me
Leader: Place in my hand the wonderful key
All: that shall unclasp and set me free
Leader: Silently now we wait for thee, ready my God thy will to see
All: Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit Divine.
Opening Prayer: from Neill Thew (read in unison)
Lord, I am blind – for I am afraid. Lord, I am blind – for I do not want to see. You promise to heal the blind – and that terrifies me. I have seen the light – and I want to close my eyes. I ask you to shake me, but I fear being broken. I ask you to bless me, but I fear being made whole. We pray, using the words of the one who heals and shakes and blesses, “Our Father…
Scripture: John 9:1-41, spoken as 4 voices, DO NOT put words in the bulletin or on screens
Readers’ Theatre: John 9: 1-41
One: As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.
“Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind?
Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”
Two: It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins.
This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.
We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us.
The night is coming, and then no one can work.
But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.
One: Then he spit on the ground,
made mud with the saliva,
and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes.
Two: Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam.
One: So the man went and washed and came back seeing!
His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other,
“Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?”
Some said he was, and others said, “No, he just looks like him!”
But the beggar kept saying,
Three: Yes, I am the same one!
One: They asked, “Who healed you? What happened?”
Three: The man they call Jesus made mud
and spread it over my eyes and told me,
‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself.’
So I went and washed, and now I can see!
One: “Where is he now?” they asked.
Three: I don’t know.
One: Then they took the man who had been blind to the Pharisees,
because it was on the Sabbath that Jesus had made the mud and healed him.
The Pharisees asked the man all about it.
So he told them,
Three: He put the mud over my eyes,
and when I washed it away, I could see!
One: Some of the Pharisees said,
Four: This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath.
One: Others said, “But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?”
So there was a deep division of opinion among them.
Then the Pharisees again questioned the man who had been blind
Four: What’s your opinion about this man who healed you?
Three: I think he must be a prophet.
One: The Jewish leaders still refused to believe the man had been blind
and could now see,
so they called in his parents.
They asked them,
Four: “Is this your son?
Was he born blind? If so, how can he now see?”
One: His parents replied,
“We know this is our son and that he was born blind,
but we don’t know how he can see or who healed him.
Ask him. He is old enough to speak for himself.”
His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders,
who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah
would be expelled from the synagogue.
That’s why they said, “He is old enough. Ask him.”
So for the second time
they called in the man who had been blind and told him,
Four: God should get the glory for this,
because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.
Three: I don’t know whether he is a sinner.
But I know this:
I was blind, and now I can see!
Four: But what did he do? How did he heal you?
Three: Look! I told you once. Didn’t you listen?
Why do you want to hear it again?
Do you want to become his disciples, too?
One: Then they cursed him and said,
Four: You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses!
We know God spoke to Moses,
but we don’t even know where this man comes from.”
Three: Why, that’s very strange!
He healed my eyes,
and yet you don’t know where he comes from?
We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners,
but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will.
Ever since the world began,
no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind.
If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.
Four: You were born a total sinner!
Are you trying to teach us?
One: And they threw him out of the synagogue.
When Jesus heard what had happened,
he found the man and asked,
Two: Do you believe in the Son of Man?
Three: Who is he, sir?
I want to believe in him.
Two: You have seen him, and he is speaking to you!
Three: Yes, Lord, I believe!
One: And he worshiped Jesus.
Two: I entered this world to render judgment—
to give sight to the blind
and to show those who think they see that they are blind.
One: Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked,
Four: Are you saying we’re blind?
Two: If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty.
But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.
Message: “Seeing, the Jesus Way”
Theme: We are very content in our lives to put blinders on, to refuse to see God and how he would work in us. What will it take for us to let Jesus heal us from our blindness?