Listening – Hearing – Healing – the church (the people of God / the followers of Jesus Christ)
Psalm 130 –
1Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
2Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!
3If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?
4But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.
5I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
6my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.
7O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.
8It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.
Matthew 20:29-34 –
As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. There were two blind men sitting by the roadside. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly, “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!” Jesus stood still and called them, saying, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed him.
When I opened the lectionary readings today I was delighted to see Psalm 130 as it is one of my favorite psalms. We cry out to the Lord just as the psalmist does – each one of us – in our own time. We feel alone and as though no one else understands. The psalmist understands and we need this reminder when it is us walking in his sandals. We need it too, when we remember that others also feel alone and even desperate – searching for someone to understand and t reach out to them.
The Matthew passage that is today’s gospel reading reveals two men who happen to be blind who find the courage within themselves to shout out to Jesus as he passes by them sitting on the side of the road. The crowd – and maybe even the disciples – tried to silence them saying “Be quiet!”
It seems they’ve been waiting patiently for a long, long time for this very moment and opportunity and they will not be silenced! They knew it was the Lord walking near to them and they cried out – just as the psalmist does. Their words are different and yet the same – “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. Lord hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication!” “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!”
Jesus is moved with compassion and immediately becomes the very balm they need – reaching back to them – touching them – healing them.
The psalmist waits with great patience … and also with hope, saying, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who wait for the morning, more than those who wait for the morning.
May we also wait for the Lord with great patience and also with hope when we are the ones who feel alone, isolated, and despairing. And, may we, like the men who are blind and the psalmist cry out to the Lord, and even more – cry out to a friend or your pastor – sharing the depths of your heart so that you can receive the healing balm that awaits you.
Let us consider, too, whose cries might we keenly listen to today?
Who is in need of our compassion and our healing balm today?
In whose lives will we make a difference today?
Let us be the church we hope to see.
Let us be healing balms for those in our midst.
In Christ’s name. Amen.
Rev. Susan Carter Wiggins