Lydia seizes the moment
John 5: 1-9 (NRSVA)
1 After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. 3 In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralysed. 5 One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be made well?’ 7 The sick man answered him, ‘Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.’ 8 Jesus said to him, ‘Stand up, take your mat and walk.’ 9 At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.
Now that day was a sabbath.
Women in the Bible don’t get much of a chance to share their voice and viewpoint so this week I have invited Lydia from Acts 16 to write a week of reflections:
I wonder if the man Jesus met in this encounter had been ill for so long that he had given up hope that he could be any better? Thirty-eight years is so much of a lifetime that a mind can become closed and shy away from hope. It takes a lot of effort to keep a mind open some days, especially as years pass, minds get fixed in patterns but I know they are not stuck, minds can be opened. This man had his mind opened by Jesus and so have I. This man was told to get up and walk, and all of a sudden he did. I was told about Jesus and offered the chance to believe, and all of a sudden I did. I imagine the journey for him and for myself will involve a bit of stumbling as we both get used to our new situations but the most important thing is that we remain open to these moments. As Jesus showed us throughout his life, there is hope, there is possibility and there is always more to faith than meets the eye.
Dear God of moments,
Open our eyes and ears
Open our hearts and minds
Open our lives and communities
To your amazing hope and life