Thought for the Day: Today during my sermon, I reference this story from Mark’s Gospel. It is one of the great stories in the Gospels, and a minister’s perfect launching pad for a sermon. It has a thousand potential sermons in it, and those are just the ones I can imagine. This exchange is interesting as Jesus showed Bartimaeus great respect in not assuming to know Bartimaeus’ needs. And unlike so many of these encounters in Mark’s Gospel where the recently healed are told to go and tell no one, Bartimaeus followed Jesus on the way. The language, “on the way,” is loaded language. It was more than the road they were traveling, it was the language used by the earliest Christians to describe their movement. These were people who followed in the way of Jesus, and for Bartimaeus, the way he met in Jesus was that of compassion, respect and a genuine interest in hearing what this nobody, according to society, had to say. Bartimaeus was empowered by his encounter with Jesus, and because he followed Jesus on the way, I imagine Bartimaeus helped others to find themselves in the way of Jesus.
Prayer: You don’t just take care of our problems, Merciful Spirit of the Christ, but you provide us space to speak our own words and requests. In doing so, you have modeled for us the attributes of attentiveness to and appreciation of every individual life. Amen.
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