re-connecting with Jesus Christ
Bishop David Jenkins was once heard to say ‘No church can keep a good God down’.
Whatever your experience of the church has been, stay focused on Jesus Christ because he is the reason for its existence, even if it is sometimes hard to find him there.
So, to begin with, let’s admit to ourselves that we really want Christ back in our lives, that we really need him. The story of the man who was healed at the pool of Bethsaida is a good one to mull over. Before he actually heals the man, Jesus asks him ‘Do you want to be healed?’ What an odd question. But the fact is that until now the man had managed to ‘get by’, presumably with the help of faithful friends and relatives who brought him to the pool every day and took him home again in the evening. His encounter with Jesus is a moment of ‘crisis’.
The Greek word ‘crisis’ means judgment, so his meeting with Jesus was a defining moment for this man. Did he or didn’t he want to take responsibility for his life and not blame others for the fact that he never managed to get to the pool in time to be healed? Jesus is offering him not only healing, but freedom. He gives him the confidence, or grace, to pick up not only his pallet, but his life and his own unique personhood. So this passage suggests that rather than going round and round the same questions regarding where we are at in relation to Jesus, we simply let go of these doubts and questions and look him in the eye. Do we want to be healed?
For more help with reconnecting with the Christian faith see ‘Making Sense of God’s Love: Atonement and Redemption’ (SPCK) 2011