Mark 10:46-52 – As Jesus was leaving Jericho, a blind man, Bartimaeus, was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" … "Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
We don't know the story of blind old beggarman Bartimaeus because he was healed. Any number of nameless people were healed. No, we know his story because of these few words recorded in scripture: "he followed him on the way." Bartimaeus answered the called by saying, "I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back, no turning back."
In today's scripture, Bartimaeus is confronted with a question: should I follow Jesus? Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot is the story of all those who never make a final decision. The play ends with this exchange:
Vladimir: Shall we go?
Estragon: Let's go.
Final stage direction: No one moves.
"No one moves" is an apt way to describe this present life. There is a lot of talk but few are moving, moving on the way as set for us by Jesus, reaching out in faith to follow on the way. Few are even seeking to be made whole again, seeking to see, seeking the faith to give life to God and God's way for us in Jesus Christ.
Prayer: In your grace, bless and guide the preparations for the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism (Nov. 24- Dec. 3) in Salvador Brazil, that through it your people may be strengthened in their cultural identity, renewed in their Christian life, and equipped for authentic witness in each context. In the power of the Spirit, lead them to discern and celebrate the wondrous variety of expressions of the Christian faith and the unity that binds them together. Amen. (from the prayer for the WCC Conference on Mission and Evangelism)