Excluded, © Mark Hewitt 2018
Reserved signs have been placed randomly on seats throughout the church.
What did you do when you saw a reserved sign on the seat?
Ignore it, sat somewhere else? Get angry or indignant? Feel Excluded?
It does not take much for a person to feel being excluded. The healing of Bartimaeus; The miracle of this story is Jesus’ ability to transform exclusion and help Bartimaeus and the community to see. Upon receiving new life, Bartimaeus leaves everything and follows Jesus.
What can we take from this ?
Our God in a God of inclusion. God’s desire is for individual wholeness and wholeness of community. We are not whole if we do not let others in.
Back to our experiences at the beginning of worship, it does not take much for a person to feel being excluded. It might not mean that that is the intention but that is the result of our actions. Not talking to someone new.
The flip side. It does not take much to make a person feel included. Saying hello, asking questions about them.
Mark 10:46-52 (NRSV)
They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart; get up, he is calling you.’So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said to him, ‘My teacher, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
God of community, sometimes,
we erect barriers that exclude.
Sometimes, we isolate and alienate one another.
But your understanding of community
is bigger than we could ever imagine!
Challenge our ways of exclusion.
Heal us from our arrogant attitudes.
Open our hearts so we might live in ways
that create better places of belonging for all. Amen.
-©Seasons of the Spirit