tonight was the first night i have been to a large group worship night with theMix - it was awesome! i estimate there were around 50ish or so people, which is incredible! it's been incredible to connect with so many awesome people and to be in a great community where God is working mightily every day!
tonight, Travis preached the story in John 9 about a blind man who had a very personal encounter with Jesus. i've read this story many times and know the symbolism and faith behind the blind man's encounter, but tonight, i heard with different ears.
Travis preached about the foundation of this story in light of the Gospel:
- we are all born blind, spiritually, and that blindness is caused by sin
- Jesus found the blind man - Jesus reaches out to us, not because we deserve it, but to show His glory at work in us
- a personal encounter with Jesus changed the blind's man's life forever
- there is irony and sarcasm in this story - the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the time, missed who Jesus was, while this blind beggar truly received the blessing and experienced the glory of God and was exalted in his faith
- we, as Christians, will face rejection from the world
But tonight, i, even though i'm a bold follower of Christ, found myself identifying more with the Pharisees.
i know that's a strange thing to say, but hear me out...or read me out.... ;)
i think we can all admit to "missing God" at times.
we are so focused on what WE want, that we miss the opportunities that God wants us to focus on.
the story of my walk with Christ is a not-so-uncommon one.
i didn't necessarily grow up in church, but i went to one as a small child every weekend with my grandmother. i accepted Christ in middle school and when i look back, i wonder if it was a true salvation-experience. i don't doubt my faith now, but i look back and think of all the hypocrisy and judgment i carried.
i was a Pharisee.
as a middle- and high-schooler, i judged my peers.
i judged people who went to church on sunday, but were less-than-holy during the week, and even less-so on the weekends.
i judged people who were obviously struggling.
i resented the hypocrisy around me when i was no different than them.
but in college, i had a true Jesus experience.
i sought him out my freshman year and walked astray for a little while.
but He met me my junior year when i was face-first on the floor.
he spat on the ground, made mud, and wiped my eyes --- in the spiritual sense, of course (physically, that'd be kind of weird)
but it was THEN that i was truly able to see - i was no longer a Pharisee, i was the blind beggar who had just received sight.
my story is not unlike many.
but i am still rejoicing in the fact that Jesus met me where i was.
i praise him for where he has brought me since 2009.
next thursday (Feb 14), i will celebrate a 3 year baptism anniversary.
i'm still in awe of where He has brought me and all He has done for me.
i love hearing stories where Jesus meets us in our brokenness.
i love hearing redemption stories where blind eyes are opened.
angels are rejoicing tonight with those of us who heard the message and continue to walk with our Jesus. :)