John 9: 13-34 The Pharisees Investigate the Healing They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, ‘He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.’ Some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.’ But others said, ‘How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?’ And they were divided. So they said again to the blind man, ‘What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.’ He said, ‘He is a prophet.’ 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 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. Devotion by Anne Mooney Wow! Do you smell the fear? The Pharisees are frightened. Jesus was bringing up ideas and doing things they could not control. Since they were living in a time of oppression and control by the Roman government, I suspect they were really zealous about religious control (and power). Jesus kept on getting in the way. He demonstrated power and authority that the Pharisees not only didn’t understand but couldn’t replicate. Poor Pharisees! I can be like the Pharisees. I don’t want to be out of control During this time of social distancing, self-quarantines, and forced Digital Learning for my students, I am stretched to listen to other authorities who know much more than I about how to do this Digital Instruction. I feel overwhelmed by all the ideas and strategies people suggest and I can’t focus or prioritize to put them to use. My feeble aged brain goes straight to, “That won’t work for MY students…they are too different!” Yesterday I was particularly challenged and scared and I just had to take a break. I took some time to read some spiritual devotions and journal. I stopped to eat some food and take my dog for a walk outside. Slowing down gave my head time to reconnect with God, as well as my body and I was able to slowly sort through all the things I was hearing and determine the next right step for me to take. It scares me to hear others stepping up and doing more and better than I. I don’t like not being at the top of the herd. But in this issue I am having to go slow like a turtle. Today I managed to have a conference call with a student and he showed up dressed like a clown. He showed me his room and all his treasures. We did a little bit of work and kept our connection alive. Maybe the Pharisees would have done better to be like Jesus and take a break and pray. Maybe then, they wouldn’t have been so scared and intimidated, or at least they could have worked through it. That’s the thing…we won’t ever stop having opportunities to be scared or intimidated, but with them come opportunities to work through it and stretch and grow. Wish you peace, stretching, and growing during this time of social distancing. Prayer Dear God, Walk with us during this Lenten Season. Remind us you are always there to help us stretch, grow, and connect with each other (and you, too!). Amen.