The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?" His parents answered, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself." His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, "He is of age; ask him."
So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, "Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner." He answered, "I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see." They said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?" He answered them, "I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?" Then they reviled him, saying, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from." The man answered, "Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing." They answered him, "You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?" And they drove him out.
Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" He answered, "And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him." Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he." He said, "Lord, I believe." And he worshiped him. Jesus said, "I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind." Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, "Surely we are not blind, are we?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, 'We see,' your sin remains." John 9:18-41
Today I have the opportunity to collect six other folks who will become our initial trainers for the Bishops' Native Collaborative. This day has been a long time in coming. We have dreamed, planned and imagined for years. We have prayed and consulted, applied and talked for a very long time. We are committed to training leaders for our Native communities, and helping these leaders to teach and encourage others. This I know, God has called us to this place and I pray that we will all be strengthened and encouraged as we learn together.
A man who was born blind is cured and yet the religious leaders are perplexed and upset. The control they enjoyed was gone. They were confused and angry wanting to understand but more wanting their control back. The once blind man would not get involved in their judgements and arguments, rather he delighted in his healing. He was thrown out of the temple for his honesty but sought out and encouraged by Jesus. God invites us to not be bound by the past but to embrace the sight we have been given today, trusting that God will seek us out and encourage us every step of the way.
Today I ask for strength for the work ahead. May we delight in the sight and vision we have been given, trusting that God will seek us out and encourage us as we walk in faith. May we walk together in faith today.