Saturday, April 23, 2011

"I have seen the Lord!' By Pastor Bettye

April 24th, 2011
The Resurrection of our Lord
John 20: 1 – 18
“I have seen the Lord!”
He is risen, he is risen, he is risen indeed, Alleluia!

Grace, mercy and peace to you this day in the name of the risen Christ! Amen
This week, this past holy week, this last week of the Lenten season we saw Jesus go from a triumphal procession into to Jerusalem straight in the hands of a crowd gone mad with anger in just four short days because he was not who they thought he would be. The crowds did not see the returning King David, the reincarnation of a great Jewish leader who would free them from the tyranny of the Roman oppression. Instead, they saw a humble servant king, a God incarnate, made flesh willingly riding to his place of death on a donkey. This week we saw a woman anoint Jesus with precious perfume reading him for death. This week we saw Jesus tell his disciples to continue to follow him, to become children of the light. This week we saw Judas take the bread from Jesus which sealed the deal with Satan. This week we saw last acts of remembrance I the washing and meal and a new commandment was given to love one another. This week we saw the brutality of humans who could NOT see who Jesus was. This week we saw Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, and unlikely duo laid the body of Jesus to rest. This morning, after a week of engaging the passion of our Lord….WHAT DO WE SEE?
When you come into the church, when you attend services on Easter morning, what do you hope to see? What drives you to a place of worship? Did you come to hear something new, something old yet reassuring to open your eyes? Mary Magdalene, in the first sermon ever preached, in the first proclamation of the Easter message to be delivered to human ears tells us what we will see:
Christ is Risen – I have seen the Lord!
Mary required only a word from the Jesus, the Word made flesh who dwelt among us and off she runs to share the Good News: the grave is empty, the Lord has risen, and death and grave have been conquered for all time for all people, Alleluia! Mary embraces the emptiness of the tomb at first with some fear until sees Jesus. At first her vision is clouded because her logical mind was telling her that the one standing before her could not be the one she had seen hanging dead on the cross just thirty six hours prior. His words, his presence, however, created a new connection for her. All that she had seen Jesus do in few short years on earth, all that she had heard Jesus say when he walked this earth teaching and preaching pushed her doubting vision into a new perspective leading her to exclaim with joy, “ I have seen the Lord!”
Mary of course had the opportunity to question what she saw; to be critical as an informed thinker who wrestled with what her eyes were revealing. Mary, remembered his words, choose to believe that what she saw indeed what Jesus had promised. All at once the neuron synapsis of sight and memory clicked into gear. Mary saw the Lord amid becomes the first witness to the resurrection. She did not run off sulking because a physical body did not lie in the tomb but rather was blessed with the first words of the risen Lord to humankind; words our ears hear this day, words which open up our hearts and minds to see Jesus.
Mary saw the Lord. What was her response? Mary ran off to TELL someone what she had seen. She did not keep the words, the enlightenment of what her vision affirmed for her to herself. Mary connected the dots from the earthly ministry of Jesus to his resurrection presence and in great joy she runs to the other disciples and proclaims not only her vision but her faith.
On Easter Sunday, on resurrection morning we have a lot to be thankful for. It begins with an empty tomb and continues with a woman not afraid to believe what she had seen and heard and them go and proclaim it. After the glow of the day begins to fade we are left as people who are challenged to have a faith in what Mary saw, challenged to a faith in God’s promises of a risen savior and words of his Gospel message. We are here today to connect the dots from the message of Mary, the words of Holy Scripture and when we do, we too can see the Lord! The question remains in our exalted, hope filled hearts is this….what do we do with what we have just seen?
My friends go and seek the answer to that question in the year between this Easter and next Easter. Seek out those who can affirm for you that yes, they have seen the Lord and are willing to share that journey of faith, redemption and proclamation with you. As Mary did – go and tell!
He is risen, he is risen indeed – alleluia!

Pastor Bettye


Easter
Not the Kingdom of Death
Christ is risen!
We give thanks for the gift of Easter
that runs beyond our explanation,
beyond our categories of reason,
even more, beyond the sinking sense of our own lives.
We know about the powers of death,
powers that persist among us,
powers that drive us from you, and
from our neighbor, and from our best selves.
We know about the powers of fear and greed and anxiety,
and brutality and certitude. Powers before which we are helpless.
And then you….you at dawn, unquenched, you in the darkness,
You on Saturday,
you who breaks the world to joy.
Yours is the kingdom…not the kingdom of death,
yours is the power…not the power of death,
yours is the glory…not the glory of death.
Yours…you… and we give thanks
for the newness beyond our achieving.
Amen
Prayers of Walter Brueggmann-Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth, Augsburg Fortress, 2003

Shine Jesus Shine

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maundy Thursday Message by Pastor Bettye

Maundy Thursday
John 13: 1 – 17; 31 – 35

The farewell tear
a feast of friendship
a story of betrayal
a memory of gifts given.
You look with such intense love
on each one gathered there,
mist covers your deep brown eyes
as you hold each one in your gaze,
you close your eyes and I see a farewell tear of friendship
as it follows the curve of your check.
You take the bread,
bless it gently and profoundly,
with old words and new
(do you mean to say it is yourself?)
And then the wine, again with words old and new.
(do you mean to say this, too, is now yourself?)
You look again at each one there
and give the eternal gift:
“Remember me and do the same.”
Like those around the table then,
so with us who gather now,
if we knew how close our hearts
are held inside of yours,
we would always be amazed
that you meant this for us, too.
How shall we ever be brave enough
to do what you have done, love as you have loved…..
Joyce Rupp, Out of the Ordinary, Ave Maria Press, 2000*

At the death bed of a beloved friend one wonders, “What else can I do? What else can I say?” A common custom in many cultures for those tending the dying is the vigil of the bath. Warm, wet clothes are used to wipe away the final sorrows of the dying and offer comfort at the time of passing. This is a blessed ritual in keeping with what used to be called “the last rites” or last prayers before one passes on into the arms of God. The intimate act of bathing another is an extreme example of love. I was never sure who the bath was really for: the living or the dying.
In tonight’s Gospel text we hear the story of Jesus’ actions as he bathes the feet of his disciples, the ones he loves to the end. We hear of his final gifts to them, the bathing and the meal. The image of water is a profound one in the Gospels. We hear of water as a significant part of the baptismal experience for Jesus. Jesus uses water in his first miracle as he turns water into wine. Jesus calms the waters of the Sea of Galilee causing the people to be amazed and take in the first glimpses of his divinity. Jesus sends the blind man to the pool of Siloam to wash away mud so that the man’s sight might be restored. And now, Jesus, the one facing death does a final act of ritual bathing with his disciples, the ones he loves to the end. These must be something in this bathing, this water that we need to grasp; a message somewhere in the water and his words and his actions that give us, today’s listener of the Gospel an enlightenment on this Maundy Thursday.
“After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe and had returned to the table, he said to them, Do you know what I have done for you?” John 13:12
What did Jesus DO on this night of water, last meals, betrayal and tears? Jesus, as teacher, is setting an example of love, humble, servant love that he calls his disciples, the one he loves to the end to follow.
“For I have set an example, that you also should do as I have done.” John 13: 15
The act of washing another is a sensitive, intimate gesture of love; an act of shared cleansing. Ritualistic bathing is meant to wash away the old and prepare for the new. Water gives new life to old wine, washes away sin and restores sight. Water has the power to kill and Jesus has power over water. In water and the WORD we learn of new life, a new creation in Christ. In today’s text we are called to a spiritual intimacy with one another in Christ, an intimacy which comes only after we wash away the old us and embrace the new us in Christ. Jesus replaces bath water with a commandment - “Now go and love one another just as I have loved you.” In the act which is ritualized tonight in foot washing, Jesus says that all will know you are his disciples in your great, unabashed love for one another. Water cleanses, water heals, water changes hearts. The one who is about to die offers a bath to the ones he loves as a reminder that they too should serve as did he.
“You look again at each one around the table then, so with us who gather now, and give the eternal gift:
“Remember me and do the same”
If we knew how close our hearts are held inside of yours, we would be amazed…”*

Sunday, April 17, 2011

It' is all in your mind.....by Pastor Bettye

April 17th, 2011 Palm Sunday Philippians 2: 5 – 11 It’s All In Your Mind 5 In your relationships with one another have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil. 2:5-11 Grace, mercy and peace to you this day in the name of the one to whom we bow our heads, bend our knees and commit our very beings, Jesus Christ our Savior and lord! Paul gives his friends in Philippi and us a hymn which outlines the who, how and why of Jesus as well as the call to respond to the knowledge we are granted in this hymn. It is not as simple as just “hearing” these words of the Christ Hymn – we are called to LIVE IT! Paul calls his friends in Philippi and us to be of the “mind of Christ”. Paul gives us the original answer to the question “What would Jesus Do?” by telling his listeners (and us) who Jesus was so that they may be of the same mind. Paul was writing to hard headed, frightened and confused disciples at a time of great oppression. “Who was this Jesus”, they probably pondered (as I dare say so do we at times) and “what do we do with this knowledge?” as they also (and us!) probably wonder. How do we make “Jesus” fit into our world and our life understanding of God? Paul begins by telling us to have the “same mind of Jesus”. What does this mean? In the Greek translation of the word “Mind” you can find several meanings for one word. They are all related, which helps the student of scripture. In the original translation of this text Paul begins the hymn by telling us to,”think on, have an opinion, an understanding, belief, intention, continue to think on, and think in such a way as to honor and respect”. Paul places an emphasis on this state of mind as central to the faith. He believes that our mindset, how we “think” is so important to Christians that he uses this phrase thirty-nine times in his letters. Paul encourages an attitude like Christ and thus a shared attitude by thus who claim to faithfully follow him…then and now. In the life of Christ it is easy to see what a mind set of Christ would be like: selflessness and humble regard for others and their interests, a willingness to sacrifice for the sake of others, an obedient child of God Almighty – even to the point of death on a cross. This is more than just an “attitude of gratitude" my friends! This is the mindset of a servant. This mindset naturally initiates certain actions by those who claim to be followers of the Christ. If we are in Christ, not only are we new creations, we share a new way of thinking in this world – a shared way of thinking. Clearly Paul had never been to a church council meeting! Contemporary debates and matters of contention between those of the “Christ-like” mindset can create challenges in congregations both in the days of Paul and now. Look at how many was we have of expressing our faith in Christ throughout the modern age. It is a wonder that writers of our history would be able to see our common mindset in Christ! Pluralism, racial, gender and sexual orientation discrimination, class lines and political leanings all serve to fracture that mindset we are to have in Christ. These challenges cannot be removed from our very diverse society but as Paul teaches Christians need to be ever so much more sensitive and aware of our mind in Christ as a standard for dealing with this world and its issues, a mindset and life style which exhibits selflessness and humility in regard to others especially in times of unrest and turmoil. As Christians we must show actions which reflect ourselves as children of the King of King and Lord of Lords. We cannot do this on our own power, we do this though a faithful existence based on God’s work in Christ; the work God has done in reconciling us to himself in the cross. We are then called to a faithful and faith-filled response. This is a life time endeavor. The life of faith is best done – in community; loving, sharing, holding up never casting down or aside another, correcting the wrongs together and celebrating the rights of others to God’s glory. Christ is exemplified in our actions as a community or he is diminished – it is up to our mindsets which guide our actions as it did Christ: Take the form of a slave…..humble yourself to all and become obedient to the point of death –death to your own prejudices and reactions….Acting this way will make us different as it did Christ. Acting this way as a church will make the church different – not just an extension of the world. Christ took this mindset to the grave and beyond to secure our salvation. How far can we go to change our mindsets for his glory?

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Donkey's View

G.K. Chesterton (1874–1936)

The Donkey
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bishop Wolfgang's Easter Message

April 24, 2011

Dear Friends,

I am not sure what Mary Magdalene and Mary and the others were thinking.

Here they are, going to the tomb early on Sunday morning and having no idea how they would roll away the heavy stone and get access to Jesus' grave.
But when they get there, the tomb is already open. There is no body. Jesus is gone.

With God, all things are possible, and so this Jesus, this teacher and preacher who during his lifetime always did the unexpected, the unconventional, has one more surprise. And for us, the implications are enormous.

You see, if Jesus has been raised from the dead, then you and I will overcome death. In Jesus' resurrection, God has said a loud and final NO to sin and to death. God has said a loud and final NO to everything that stands between God and human beings ... and God has said a life-changing, death-shattering, earthquake-producing YES to life. With Jesus' resurrection, God has rolled away that huge stone that blocks our lives and that keeps us from being in right relationship with our creator and with one another.

My prayer for you this Easter is that you may again experience the joy of the resurrection that lifts every weight off our souls and live again in the sure knowledge that in Jesus Christ, God has claimed you forever.


Alleluia! Christ is risen. - Yes! Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Peace and blessings,

Bishop Wolfgang

Monday, April 11, 2011

Status Quo by Pastor Bettye

April 10th, 2011 John 11: 1 – 53 The Fifth Sunday in Lent Status Quo Grace, mercy and peace to you this day in the name of Jesus, the one who came that we might know eternal life. Amen Part One : The Ending Our Lenten journey is a journey of preparation. All that we read and study as Christians during these forty plus days are crafted, prepared to get us to one place…the cross of Christ. Our final steps to the cross are prophesized today by the High Priest Caiaphas, a Pharisee dedicated to maintaining the status quo. Today’s text revels that for good political reasons, perhaps even patriotic reasons of ethnic solidarity one man, namely Jesus should die. After all, Caiaphas explains, we do not want this renegade Jew to continue his SIGNS and “tick off” the government and thus affect the lifestyle so carefully crafted and protected by the Temple elite. Jesus is a threat to a tenuous balance between Jews and Romans. This balance offered the Jews a semi- peaceful controlled life style….a status quo that must be continued. This meant that one man must die for the people. One man must die for the people. With this statement we hear the prophecy of one of the Christian church’s theological tenets or building blocks to the Christian faith. From the high priest Caiaphas, the Christian church first hears the theology of atonement – the self- sacrifice of one by whom not only the Jews, not only believers but the entire cosmos, the whole created order will be saved. God in the words of Caiaphas is transfiguring the evil plot of the moment into the gospel story itself. One must die for all. It is this moment for which Jesus was born. It is not proclaimed in glory but in hate filled, fear filled tones of one trying desperately to maintain the status quo. Part Two – How we got to the ending Back to the story of Lazarus. The story of Jesus and Lazarus is especially poignant when the readers engage the story only in the words of Jesus. The clarity of Jesus road to the prophecy of Caiaphas is seen then in words of Jesus without the additional comments of the other participants. The road to the prophecy of Caiaphas as well of the foretelling of the road to the cross and the empty tomb is granted the listener who is sensitive to the words of Jesus. Listen to just the words of Jesus from John 11: 1 - 45 “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” “Let us go back to Judea.” “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” “Your brother will rise again.” “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 35 Jesus wept. “Take away the stone,” he said. “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” , “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” , “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” Out of context, flying in the face of any status quo experiences the reader can imagine…what did you just hear? From the words of Jesus we learn to today what is to come and why and to God’s glory. We begin the final countdown of Lent with a preview of one man’s death and resurrection as Lord of Lords. And still we hear the following: 45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.” 49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” 51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life. John 11: 45 – 53 The story of Lazarus is a foretelling of the events which will unfold in the three days of what the Christians call the triduum – the three days of death which begin Holy Thursday, include Good Friday and is completed on Holy Saturday with an Easter Vigil. Today we hear from the words of Jesus what to expect on those days and why. At the death of Lazarus we hear the promise of the resurrection. WE learn that what God is about to do in Jesus will glory the Father. We hear how Jesus removes all illness and heals which also means “to save”. We hear that Jesus as both human and divine shares our bed of emotions as “weeps” for us. We learn that Jesus will stand for us in front of the Father out of great love. We see today that the stone will be rolled away and the grave clothes no longer bid the dead to the grave. At the resurrection of Lazarus we hear the reason for the cross. Embedded within the three days we see how God has disrupted the status quo with a willing sacrificial lamb. We continue our thought filled Lenten journey today with a prophecy that is a cornerstone of the Christian church. Next Sunday we will see the brevity with which people trust in the promises of God in order to maintain the status quo………..

Monday, April 4, 2011

John 9:1-41 by Pastor Bettye

April 3rd, 2011 Fourth Sunday in Lent John 9: 1 – 41 “I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.” Grace mercy and peace to you this day in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord! Amen Today’s Gospel text is a timeless and time based story. It is not a simple interaction between Jesus and a human being; it is a story about time and the effects the Word of God has on the people of God - over time. Today we hear a seven act drama with all the nuances of a well written play: humor, irony, mystery, a plot line which escalates into a final confrontation which embarrasses and brings down the high and mighty. It also has, as is common in the Gospel according to John, an explanation of the lesson at hand. The only way to engage this drama is …head on as it is written with the final question being, “ What did you see?” Act One – the Sign Jesus the local renegade of the Jewish clan SEES a blind man who has been blind or without sight since birth. Jesus disciples are accompanying him on this walk. They question the reason for blindness saying surely this travesty is about parental sin; a deserved punishment to the blind man’s parents. Jesus sets up a challenging thought which lingers for the entire drama when he comments on the reason for the blindness. The audience is left hanging on his words, blind to what Jesus means and wanting to know more. Jesus then creates a sign using mud and spit. The word “miracle” does not enter the drama; Jesus’ acts are referred to as “signs”…..something that teaches, gives direction, something to look for. The man born blind is given sight and now has the ability to SEE signs himself. Jesus exists, stage left. Act Two – The Question Enter stage right, neighbors who see the man born blind but who now can SEE and they don’t recognize him. He was labeled and known by his infirmity. He is no longer bound to his sightlessness and now the neighbors have lost their SIGHT as to how he is. The man born blind tries to explain who he is as these neighbors ponder what they can no longer SEE. The man born blind says, “ A MAN called Jesus gave me my sight,” and then tells the story of the mud and the spit. The neighbors who are still struggling with their sightlessness now want to see this Jesus but he has disappeared from sight. Act Three – Blind Wisdom The Pharisees of the time have corned the market on wisdom. They will have all the answers needed to understand the signs which the sightless people cannot SEE. So they take the man born blind to the Pharisees and bring into the drama a core concept which the disciples first posed to Jesus; the concept of sin. Our friendly neighbors instead of rejoicing at SIGHT now are complaining that a sign which took “work” to perform was done on the Sabbath. After all, no work of any kind is allowed on the Sabbath. The story of Jesus is repeated by the man born blind in all of its simplicity. He was once blind and now SEES. The Pharisees apparently cannot SEE either as they make the following declaration: ü Jesus is not a man from God because he did not observe the Sabbath. ü How can the MAN JESUS who is obviously a sinner performs “signs”? The drama now turns into a state of confusion as people who cannot SEE the signs fumble around in the dark looking for answers. The Pharisees in an attempt to SEE and make clear the story at hand question the man born blind at birth. They ask him, You were the one who had your eyes opened, what do you have to say about this man Jesus?” The man born blind at birth now SEES Jesus as a prophet. And the curtain closes on our troupe of sightless players with this question. Act Four – Blind Fear The writer of the drama begins this next act with a name change. The Pharisees are now simply referred to as “The Jews” . Apparently their sightlessness has cost them their recognition in the Gospel text. The Jews now turn to the parents of the man born bind and begin an interrogation. The Jews doubt that this man was born without sight so they go to the source of his being – those who gave him life. By this time in the drama emotions of the characters are escalating. The Jews have begun a sacred search for answers to this sign. The parents of the man born blind can SEE what is happening. They admit that he is their son, he was born without sight, they do not know who gave him his sight. They ended their interrogation with the pleas to the Jews to go and ask the man born blind. Their INSIGHT into the story was limited. Their INSIGHT also was clouded by fear; fear of the ramification for anyone who claimed, confessed or SAW the man Jesus as a Messiah. They SAW themselves being put out of the temple if they SAW Jesus as Messiah, the one capable of creating such signs. ACT Five – The Real Issue at Hand The man born blind is once again visited by the Jews who claim that he must give glory to God – God as they the Jews SAW God- for the creation of his sight. The Jews SAW this Jesus as a sinner - the man who worked a sign on the Sabbath. The man born blind explains to the Jews what he SEES: ü He does not know if Jesus is a sinner ü He does now that he once was blind but now he sees The Jews still stumbling around in their unsightedness trying to SEE with clouded vision the entirety of the story; trying to make sense of the sight within their limited capacity to SEE Jesus ask the man born blind AGAIN what did Jesus do?, how did Jesus do it. Their questioning has reached a fevered pitch, their anxiety growing as they the Jews cannot SEE the answer to the riddle. The man born blind simple replies in all simplicity and with eyes wide open, “Why do you want to hear the story yet again. Do you want to become His disciples? The drama stops hear as the peak with a question of whether or not the JEWS wish to have sight. Act Six – The Final Show Down As the curtain lifts we see and hear anger. The man born blind has just claimed that Jesus has followers and has invited the Jews to follow him. The Jews claim to be disciples of Moses, the bearer of the covenant of Sinai. The SIGHTLESS Jews do not SEE Jesus as the one God has called to give them SIGHT; they do not SEE where Jesus comes from meaning they do not SEE who he really is. The man born blind is now given the opportunity to give SIGHT to the blind – a gift from the sign which he says is REALLY AMAZING!” The sight to be seen is this: you do not SEE who Jesus is yet his signs are in front of you. ü You do not SEE that which has not been done before and then question the sign and its creator ü You do not see the obedience and relationship of the One who brought the sign with God ü You do not SEE that this sign is from God! The sightless Jews in order to protect their understanding, the way they SEE life throw the man blind from birth out of the temple. He has no place to go accept to Jesus. Act Seven – “I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.” Jesus returns to collect his disciple who has attempted more evangelizing in one afternoon then most people do in a life time. Jesus asks the man born blind if he SEES the Son of Man. The man born blind after his afternoon of drama readily seeks to SEE the son of Man. Jesus, in a rare moment claims who he is to a disciple who SEES. Jesus explains that he comes to the unsighted so that they might SEE and to challenge the SIGHT of the truly blind. The Jews who are once again called Pharisees by the writer of the gospel of John leave…..SIGHTLESS. How does one explain what we know cannot be seen according to our limited sight, our limited understanding, our limited ability to interpret signs? In our blindness, our limited site of the world in this text…what do you SEE as really going on? A conversion of heart by the Son of man in going on in our midst. Can you SEE it?