Of all the watery imagery used during this season of Lent in preparation for our thanksgiving for baptism at Easter, I have to say this week’s may be the oddest. A man born blind is healed by the waters of Jesus’ … spit.
Now in my experience, “spit in your eye” signifies a confrontational – almost pugilistic – attitude toward the powers that be. Hardly the tone you’d associate with a good bedside manner. Still, by healing the blind man we meet in this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus spits in the eye of the authorities around him. He calls into question their priorities, which value keeping good order over meeting the needs of those they pass by on the street each day on the way to work.
Healing and restoration are not always calm, soothing activities. Sometimes, in order for true healing to take place, sick systems have to be revealed for what they are so that change can occur and restoration can begin. As we pray this weekend for healing – for ourselves, our neighborhood, our congregation, and our world – let’s be aware that we are asking for change. We are spitting in the eye of the powers and principalities of the world.