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Notes from Steve:

-Sermon Notes-

March 19, 2023


“Sight and Vision”

 (1 Samuel 16:1-13, Psalm 23, Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41)

      When I was in third grade, my teacher sent a note home with me to hand-off to my parents.  Since I was squinting a lot at the chalkboard, she suggested I have an eye exam.  Turns out I was just about blind as a bat! Since then, my vision has been changed by wearing glasses or contacts.  Today’s scripture, like glasses, speaks of changing our vision.

     Psalm 23 is a wonderful psalm which is often shared during funerals, so this psalm is often associated with death. But here’s a different way to “see” the psalm; David wrote these words not about death, but about life-how to live life even in the midst of trying circumstances.  With this understanding we both see and have a different vision of this psalm which speaks of the Lord as our Shepherd, leading us through dark valleys.

     From 1 Samuel we are reminded that God uses a different vision than we do; when God instructed Samuel to choose a new king to replace Saul, he said to Samuel (vs. 7) “The Lord does not look at the things people look at.  People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” God’s sight and vision are different from what is often used by humankind.

     In the Ephesians passage, Paul in writing to the young church reminded them that they were to act in such a way so that others would see them as being different. In the verses leading-up to today’s passage, Paul instructed them how not to live; in today’s passage he told them how to live.  For example, verse 8 includes the instruction “Live as children of light…” By setting themselves apart and living a certain way, this young church would represent God well, and would draw people into fellowship with them and more importantly, into relationship with God through Christ.

     The most obvious passage about sight and vision is from the reading from John when Jesus healed a blind man.  Yet the issues of sight and vision don’t end there; there is an encounter between the blind man, his parents and the Pharisees after the healing.  After learning what had happened, the Pharisees declared Jesus could not be from God, since he had performed the healing on the Sabbath.  In this passage we sense the Pharisees were blind, while the man who was healed experienced both sight and vision; by the end of the passage we learn that this man who one had a vision of Jesus as prophet now saw him as the Messiah (see vs. 35-38.)

     Just as Louis Braille opened a way for the blind to read and therefore “see,” we too are offered sight into God’s vision in today’s readings.  May we see Jesus for who he is, and may we as the church offer a vision of God through our ministries which sets us apart from the darkness people often see around us; may people be drawn into relationship with God through Christ as we become part of offering sight and vision to each other and the world around us.


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