Week of: March 26, 2017
Scripture: John 9:1-41
Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, "Surely we are not blind, are we?"
(John 9:40, NRSV)
Watching me repeatedly stop to take photographs while hiking through a national park, a friend remarked, “I want to see your pictures. I want to see what you’re seeing.”
Taking photographs helps me see better. The camera lens narrows my focus and helps me see details of the world around me – the shadow of a leaf on a boulder; the crab spider at the center of a flower; the moon seemingly cradled in the bare branches of a tree.
It’s easy to rush through the woods – or life – blind to what, or who, is around you. The Pharisees in John’s Gospel were blind to the miracle of a blind man’s healing and the good news it proclaimed. They couldn’t see the details in front of them.
It’s easy to dismiss folks, such as the uniformly garbed women I visit at a New Jersey prison, as “sinners.” The key is to slow down, look closely and see who is really there. Some inmates committed awful deeds, but they are also women of unique talents and stories: mothers, poets, singers, scholars, immigrants. Viewing photographs can help us pause to share those stories and connect with the Divine held in the images and each other.
The incarnate Jesus sees us – all sinners, all God’s children – in the unique details of our lives, calling us to see and embrace one another as individuals as well.
Engaging your worship artists in experiencing worship through photographs.
Ask your choirs, dancers, ringers, and other worship artists to take a photo whenever they experience or “see” Jesus during the week and to send them to you. Post a montage of the pictures in your rehearsal spaces and gather around the montage as you pray together. Perhaps some will be willing to share the story of the photo as a part of your closing devotion. Consider continuing this practice through Holy Week.
God among us, open our eyes to see your wonders in the world around us and your face in everyone we encounter. Amen.