John chapter 9
On a Mission Sunday we learn more about the experience and plans of one of our three chosen charities, this time Smile Train. Most years there is an underlying theme of healing and well-being with our charities, as you would expect from those who seek to follow the way of Christ. Smile Train makes this obvious, as they deal with ‘deformities’ in children from birth, giving them a whole new life of hope away from the depressing and demoralising state of being ‘deformed’.
This Gospel reading explores the healing of a blind man, whose ‘deformity’ from birth meant that he had to beg to make any kind of living. Some have commented that maybe he was actually poorer (financially) when he was able to see, as he lost his income from begging! But that certainly was not how he felt – nor indeed how Jesus felt when he acted to bring wholeness and hope to a victim of an accident of birth.
Back in those times it was commonly believed that ‘deformity’ was a result of sin, i.e. that it was somehow God’s displeasure. Jesus disputes that, of course. And he does more than heal physical deformity or illness; he always adds a word of encouragement, of inner well-being alongside any physical healing. John records in the following chapter that Jesus memorably claims “I have come that you may have life, life in all its fulness”. (John 10, v10).
This what drives the charities we aim to support.
If you missed the chance to give on Mission Sunday, you can donate on-line to our bank account: ‘Glenorchy URC Mission’ – sort code 77-10-05, account 00001698.
Peter Brain (for Mission Committee)