Monday, 10 March 2014

After these things, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now in Jerusalem by the sheep gate, there is a pool, which is called in Hebrew, “Bethesda”, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, or paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water; for an angel went down at certain times into the pool, and stirred up the water. Whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had.When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been sick for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to be made well?”
 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, another steps down before me.” John 5:1-7

Often Lent is about our response to God.  This story reminds me of our response to the needs of others and prompts introspection.  What holds us back?  Indifference or diffidence?

Lord, help us not just to look, but to see the needs of your people.
Lord help us not just to listen, but to hear the cries of those in need.
Help us to discern what you are calling us to do, and give us the courage to know that when we step out, you are there with us.
Help us not to dive in insensitively, but neither let us be paralysed by fear of failure.
Lord, you call us to be shepherds to your sheep. 
May we guide and protect, lead and nurture, shield and tend. Through the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.