Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church
Worship Focus for March 22
Rev. Hardy H. Kim, preaching

This week, the artists who put together our “wilderness” themes for this season wanted us all to focus on Lent as time and place of disruption. I wonder if they ever imagined this particular theme choice being so powerfully appropriate.

Last week we asked you to join us in worship via our Facebook livestream so that we could free you up to be safe at home. We were still able to enjoy the blessings of our sanctuary, the encouraging words of Rev. Dr. Jim Bennett, our organ and musicians, the paraments on the chancel. I hope that you found as much spiritual meaning and connection in all of that as I did.

This week the shelter-in-place plan is not just an encouragement from our church leaders; it is a legal mandate from our government authorities. So much of our regular lives has been thrown into disarray. Our plans for worship are changing again.

I hope you will, once again, join us via our Facebook livestream for worship this Sunday. Various worship leaders will be using remote meeting technology to offer different parts of the service. I humbly ask for your patience and understanding as we try to make all of these things work – not just so that our words or songs can be heard, but so that we can all receive a sense of communing together in God’s Holy Spirit. I especially encourage you to join using the church’s Facebook page – as that will give you the greatest ability to share comments and reactions, and to see those being offered by others as well.

I pray that God will be watching over all our congregation members, friends, and wider community this week. And I pray that God will bind our hearts together through worship come Sunday, wherever we might be.

Trusting in God’s steadfast love and faithfulness,

SVPC RESPONSE TO COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) HEALTH CRISIS: The session of Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church has decided to cancel all large church gatherings, including worship, starting Friday, March 13, through at least April 11. We will update you about when regular services will resume.

Although we will not be worshiping together in the sanctuary, please plan to worship with us "virtually" at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings when we will livestream our service on Facebook or the church website. The worship service can also be viewed on the church website during the week.

For other church programs and events, please check the church website frequently for updates.

Image: "Siloam," by Lisle Gwynn Garrity, A Sanctified Art
Theme for Sunday
Perhaps in the end it is best for all people, disabled and nondisabled alike, to acknowledge that our solidarity is found in the sharing of the human condition from which no one is excluded. Our unity can be found in our common, but different experiences of joy, pain, peace, loss, hope, limitation, and suffering, and in our shared dependency on God’s love and mercy.

—Jennie Weiss Block, Copious Hosting
Questions for Reflection
  • How are you doing this week? Is there anything that has been weighing heavy on you? Try speaking to someone you trust about it.
  • Is there someone that you haven’t heard from since our present situation began—someone about whom you might be worried, or whose voice you just want to hear? Why not try reaching out to them?
John 9:1-41
As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.” The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.

Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him.

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.