Lenten Devotions: "Mud In Your Eye"
This Lenten season, Bread Blog will be running a series of devotions written by Pastor Ron Glusenkamp, senior pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. The reflections are based, in part, on the music of Peter Mayer, accomplished vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter. The theme for this year's series is "Mighty This Love," named for one of Mayer's compositions (Listen to a special welcome message from Mayer).
Fourth Sunday in Lent
March 30, 2014
"Dirty Hands, Dirty Feet
I'm over my head it's made a mess of me
But it keeps a coming back to the
Holy road means crashing you and me
You've gotta walk through
the muddy water to come clean."
Lyrics from "Dirty Hands, Dirty Feet," by Peter Mayer
"As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God's works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man's eyes, saying to him "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see" (John 9:1-7).
So, let's get this straight— in order for Jesus to heal the blind man, he mixes up a salve of saliva and holy ground to make mud and then spreads it on his eyes. The blind man is then instructed to "Go wash in the pool of Siloam." The blind man (or more appropriately, the "former blind man") came back "able to see."
I tried to check out the origination of the phrase, "Here's mud in your eye." But, most of the websites had all sorts of extraneous derivations of the phrase. However, I can't help but think that it has something to do with this incident in the Gospel of John. Jesus, like the Prophet Elisha, does something that would initially seem to compound the problem as opposed to alleviate it. I also wonder why Jesus didn't just say, "SEE!" and the blind man would miraculously have vision. What did it mean for Jesus to "get his hands dirty?"
What did it mean for the man to have a "muddy compress" applied to his non-seeing eyes?
The crazy advertisement at the top of the page used to appear in all the comic books that I would devour as a young boy. I think I probably spent more time fantasizing about having x-ray vision than I did about any of the characters in the comic books. Just imagine how it would be to have the ability to see through walls and other barriers.
Now that I have grown up (somewhat), I have met blind people who are able to "see" a great deal. Their awareness is heightened, and their senses often seem to function at levels which far exceed my capabilities. Conversely, there are other people who have 20/20 eyesight, and yet their "vision" is somewhat impaired.
During the season of Lent, it is part of our journey to catch glimpses of how God sees us: namely, as daughters and sons for whom God sent Jesus to live, die on a cross, and rise from the dead. That particular insight is life-changing.
Today is also known as Laetare Sunday. It is a Holy "spring break" in the middle of Lent. Laetare comes from the Latin translation of Isaiah 66:10, "Laetare Jerusalem," or, "O, be Joyful, Jerusalem."
"You've gotta walk through the muddy water to come clean"
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