Daily Archives: November 17, 2020

Evening Prayer: November 17th

Gracious God, as the evening falls and the dusk of night appears, there is comfort in knowing you are still God, the One who has promised to love and keep us, even forever more. Release from me the burdens of this day. Open my soul to receive your goodness. As this day draws to a close, I seek the presence of your comfort. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Daily Scripture Passage: Psalm 119:103-106

Psalm 119:103-106 (NRSV)

103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
    sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through your precepts I get understanding;
    therefore I hate every false way.

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
    and a light to my path.
106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
    to observe your righteous ordinances.

Thoughts to Ponder from Luke 18:35-43

Luke 18:35-43 (NRSV)

Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar Near Jericho

35 As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 Then he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Those who were in front sternly ordered him to be quiet; but he shouted even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me see again.” 42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.” 43 Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.

“Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” (Luke 18:38).

The blind man in today’s Gospel reading did more than mutter under his breath. He shouted! He ignored all the voices that said, “Stop making a fuss! Just accept your lot in life. Just bear your cross.” He probably even ignored the thoughts in his mind that told him he wasn’t worth healing, he deserved to be blind, or he wasn’t important enough for Jesus to notice. He drowned them out, stubbornly pounding on the door of God’s heart. And he was not disappointed.

Know this: God always wants to heal and restore. He wants to touch us at our sorest points, our most vulnerable, limiting position, and relieve the pain. This is why Jesus exhorts us to ask, seek, and knock. He never says, “Sorry, that’s just too hard for me” or “You really have no business asking me to do that for you.” He never turns his back on anyone who comes to him.

So what do you do when you’ve asked and pleaded for years, but your prayers never seem to be answered? You keep asking! You keep crying out to the Lord. You keep believing that God is good and that he has good intentions for you. You confess that he who made light shine out of darkness will also shine through your life – both in healing and in patient endurance. Because God really is healing us, all the time.

Even as we endure a long-term illness or an emotional wound, our lives are being shaped. The question is: How will we be shaped? By clinging to the Lord in faith, we can grow in compassion. We can become vessels of his love and presence. But if we give up, we risk becoming bitter and resigned. If we draw from the well of God’s grace and presence, we will find courage, good humor, and consolation. But if we withdraw, we risk becoming preoccupied by our challenges, blind and deaf to the needs and joys of the people around us.

So always keep before you the image of the blind man who, when healed, was full of praise for the Lord. Because God is with you at every step, you can be sure that he is a good, good God!

Lord, heal me! Open my eyes today to see how you are working in my life. Amen.