Collect and Readings for The Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity, Job 42:1-6, 10-17,Jeremiah 31:7-9, Psalm 34:1-8, 19-22 and 126, Hebrews 7:23-28, Mark 10:46-52
The Prayer for today Grant, we beseech you, merciful Lord, to your faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins and serve you with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
In the reading from Job, the vision of God's tender and comprehensive care of all creation, and his love in bringing it all to being, results in Job recognising God's true greatness at a deeper level. In new reverence and humility, he bows before God, who gathers him up and lavishes his blessings on this honest and suffering man.
In the passage from Jeremiah, the prophet longs for the people to find again a close, personal relationship with the living God. No more empty, formalised religious practice, but a real reverence and tender returning to the Lord who loves them. He describes it as if it is happening, with streams of scattered people, all with their needs and frailty, being drawn from the ends of the earth, weeping, and praying as they realise who they are, and whose they are.
The writer of Hebrews reinforces this joy of finding Jesus the Saviour who meets our needs, providing for us what we by ourselves cannot achieve. Only Jesus, as the go-between, priestly figure of all time, is holy, blameless, pure, and set apart from sinners, yet willingly taking their part.
The Gospel reading catapults us into the kingdom longed for by the prophets. Here, in the dusty main street on the way out of Jericho town, we find the promised Christ going about his healing business of giving sight to the blind. Bartimaeus is anxious not to mis out on this opportunity, and it is his faith, Jesus tells him, which heals his sight. In the reality of this beggar, happy and freed from blindness, choosing to follow Jesus, we glimpse the wider vision of the whole world returning, with tears of joy running down their faces, to the God who never gives up on them and longs to gather them to himself.
Some things to reflect on:
In what way do Jesus' disciples help or hinder Bartimaeus from coming to Jesus for healing?
How do we help or hinder people from coming to Jesus?
God bless and stay safe and well.
Rev'd Fiona Robinson