Our gospel passage this week is one of my favorites to pray with. It is a beautiful model for our own prayer, our own crying out to Jesus. Bartimaeus calls out to Jesus, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And he calls out not once, but over and over until Jesus stops, stands still, and asks that he come to him. Bartimaeus springs up and comes to Jesus, full of hope and trust, and faith. Then Jesus asks him an extremely important question: “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus can see that the man is blind; he can see that he is a beggar. I’ll bet that Jesus had a pretty good idea of what Bartimaeus wanted, but he asked the question anyway. In doing so, Jesus treated Bartimaeus with respect and dignity; he let Bartimaeus name his own desire for healing. When Bartimaeus tells Jesus that he wants to see again, that is all that is needed. Unlike many other miracles where Jesus says or does something to the person to bring about the healing, here we are told that it was Bartimaeus’s own faith in Jesus that allowed him to see again. Jesus releases Bartimaeus with the words, “Go; your faith has made you well.” But Bartimaeus didn’t just disappear as soon as his sight was restored. We are told that “Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.” “The way” is shorthand in the gospels for following Jesus on the path of discipleship. Bartimaeus became a follower of Jesus and, I would imagine, a wonderful evangelist. After all, his own body, his own life, was a living testament to his encounter with Jesus.
I love praying with this story. We too cry out to Jesus over and over again, begging for mercy. And like with Bartimaeus, Jesus stands still and calls us to him asking us what we would like for him to do. We may or may not always have the immediate results that Bartimaeus did, but Jesus still asks us the question, still desires to hear what it is that we want from him. And hopefully naming our desire leads us to follow Jesus on the way just as it did for Bartimaeus. Prayer is always about relationship; it is about dialogue with God; it is about being honest with Jesus about what is going on in our lives and what we want and need. So call out to Jesus and tell him what you need. Be honest. Then go, and follow him on The Way.
The Reverend Amanda C. Stephenson, Associate Rector
Sunday, October 24
Holy Eucharist, Rite I, 7:45 a.m., Church
Holy Eucharist, Rite II, 9:00 a.m., Church
The Bishop’s Forum, 10: 00 a.m., Parish Hall
Child and Youth Formation, 10:00 a.m., Parish House
Parents Connect, 10:00 a.m., Parish House Rooftop
Holy Eucharist, Rite II, 11:15 a.m., Church
Special Reception with the Bishop, 12:30 p.m., Churchyard
Evensong, 5:00 p.m., Church
Monday, Bible Study, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Holy Eucharist, Rite II, Noon, Chapel
Wednesday, Book Group, 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Bible Study, 7:00 p.m.
The Right Reverend Samuel Rodman at St. Peter’s this Sunday. This Sunday, October 24, Bishop Sam Rodman, the twelfth Bishop of North Carolina, will visit St. Peter’s. Bishop Sam will lead the Adult Forum at 10:00 a.m. He will also preach and preside at the 11:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist, confirming and receiving thirteen new Episcopalians. After worship, all are invited to join Bishop Sam and the clergy in the Churchyard for a special reception.
Join us for Sunday Worship. Our safety procedures at each service allow us to welcome all those who feel that in-person worship is safe for them at this time. Many COVID-19 protocols, including mask-wearing, are in effect. Socially distanced seating is available in the chapel. Diocesan guidelines require masks indoors at St. Peter’s for all services and other gatherings, regardless of vaccination status.
Eco-Justice Series. Join the St. Peter’s Eco-Justice team for important opportunities in October as we learn, act, and advocate to be good Christian stewards of the Earth, our common home. Forum on Stewardship October 31: An opportunity to learn about Eco-Justice, its origins, and the way the movement works to address the unequal effects of climate change and other environmental issues. Please join us to help address critical climate change and its impact. Learn more online at st-peters.org/ej-series.
Charlotte Choir School Greenery Sale. Charlotte Choir School is running its annual greenery sale to raise funds for its program. The Choir School is open to every young person accepted to the choirs, as we enrich and strengthen young lives through excellent, rigorous music education and choral performance. All purchases directly support the musical education of the choristers. A variety of wreaths are available for purchase through an online order, a chorister family, or by contacting Kristie Lauderbaugh, Program Coordinator. Order online at charlottechoirschool.org.