SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER(2013, ?5 May, Rev Aaron Annan) Theme: The Impossibility Becomes Possible with Christ
Beloved, our gospel reading for today, John 5:1-9, is about making the impossible possible in our lives as well as others. It all begun in Jerusalem as part of Jesus’ delight to help the helpless and have compassion on the afflicted. He was engaged with a miraculous cure in an opportune time, a golden opportunity to declare the power of God through miracles and teaching. It was at the feast of Purim1 in memory of the deliverance in 437BC of the Jews in Persia from Haman2, who conspired to exterminate them. The feast was held annually in the month of Adar (March), about a month before the Passover. It is a most celebrated feast with great numbers from all parts of the country besides Jewish proselytes from other By the Sheep gate a place reserved for the sale of sheep for sacrifice was a pool of Bethesda a Hebrew word meaning house or place of mercy which had a miraculous healing virtue. The pond was frequented with many invalids- blind, lame and paralysed, a great multitude of impotent folks. They had come with the patience to wait for cure. Jesus attention is drawn to a man who had been ill for 35yrs. He had compassion on him. “Do you want to be made well?” He asked. Immediately he complains for want of friends to help him in. “I have no one to put me into the pool. In other words, I have no friend to do/show me kindness. Just a step between him and a cure, and yet he continues in his predicament. None would say “Your case is worse than mine, do you go in now, and I will stay till next time.” Following the old maxim we often say “Every one for him, God for us all.” Or “The survival of the fittest”; “Work out your own salvation.” Having been 1 The annual festival instituted to commemorate the preservation of the Jews in Persia from the massacre with which they were threatened through the machinations of Haman. See Es. 9:1; Es.3:7; Es. 9:24. 2 Vizier (i.e prime minister) of the Persian King Ahasuerus (Es.3:1). He is called an ‘Agagite,’ which seems to denote that he was descended from the royal family of the Amalekites, the bitterest enemies of the Jews. disappointed, Christ comes to his aid, because he delights to help in desperate cases. He said to him “Stand up, take your mat and walk”. The man was healed Beloved, we are faced with desperate cases like this man at the pool of Bethesda. The situation in Christchurch calls for people with compassion, love and care to help the helpless. These may be friends, loved ones or family waiting so long and still waiting lying by the pool side with ignorance about where to find help. Still waiting for relief aid not even aware their homes have been red zoned. We all have problems of our own. Our homes may have cracks here and there, but we can make with them for the mean time. Can we say to those with no hope ‘your situation is worse (or needs immediate attention) than mine let me offer you this help, I will sort myself later’? People need a gentle push into the pool for healing. It may be financial, spiritual, and physical, psychological trauma, loneliness or any situation that makes us desperate. Sending a card is acceptable, phone calls, yes! But it is not enough. It is better to visit. We need people to offer help when in need. Let us not put them off by saying “I’m alright… “Do you want to be made well…?” Jesus asked. Jesus always found a way to bring relief to the suffering as a sign of God’s love to us so they may understand and accept God in their life. Christ is makes what is impossible possible in our lives and that of others. As Jesus made use of every least opportunity a golden one to proclaim the kingdom of God, so we are called to make use of any time available to us to love and support one another. We should not set time apart to be good or show kindness to one another. Let’s not say “I am not in the mood to do good today. Come another day and I shall attend to you.” God does not postpone his blessing upon us. It flows every new day and continuous to flow when we least expect. Let us always remember Jesus words “Always love one another as I have always loved you.”

Source: http://www.holytrinity.evanta.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/SIXTH-SUNDAY-OF-EASTER5may2013.pdf


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