Jesus, Blessed Savior, have mercy on us! Heal our wounds and give us assurance of your steadfast love. Grant that we might boldly throw off what we no longer need so that we can freely embrace the new thing you choose to give. Thanks be to you, Loving One. Amen. 

As a pastor and coach, people often seek me out for encouragement, brainstorming, problem solving, feedback, etc. in hopes of being able to move from one place or mindset to another. At other times, the seeker may simply want to vent or lament with no real desire for change. There is value in both, and having some clarity about intention can be helpful, though knowing the difference is not always obvious.

In Sunday’s gospel, Bartimaeus repeatedly seeks Jesus out asking for mercy. His troubles are many, not just one. Bartimaeus is (1) poor; (2) blind; (3) a beggar; and (4) spends his days sitting by the side of the road asking for help. He is desperate yet bold and will not be silenced. Can you imagine?

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. It is an interesting question because the obvious answer to what a blind person might want most is the ability to see with their natural eyes.  So, why did Jesus bother to ask?

What do you want Jesus to do for you, my friend? What do you really want? Sometimes our troubles are deep, and we may be tempted to sit with them for a long time, even forever.  Still, I want to encourage you to seek healing, desire wholeness, and pursue it as a reasonable goal and expectation. In faith, we are invited to ask for what we want trusting and believing that when our desires align with God’s purposes, all kinds of things are possible. Therefore, it is important to make sure that we are asking well.

Bartimaeus wanted to see, but more than his physical eyes were opened—his vision was made clear. Jesus said, “Go, your faith has made you well,” and Bartimaeus followed immediately.

This coming weekend, we will be celebrating Homecoming at PAUMC with our ninth annual fundraiser on Saturday evening and Sunday worship. It’s a good time to be asking yourself what you really want from and for our church. What is its value to you; your hopes and dreams as we navigate these challenging times and the years ahead?  How might you be of service?

Grace and peace,
Pastor Cathy