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Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to encourage the hearers to affirm to others that God is eventually given the proper praise by demonstrating His miraculous light (in our lives) through our disabilities.

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U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris, Jr.

Fort Ord Chapel

Seaside, CA

2 March 2008

Big Idea: God is eventually given the proper praise by demonstrating His miraculous light (in our lives) through our disabilities.

Scriptural References: EAI (Expository; Application; Illustration) John 5:5-17 (Jesus healing a man (invalid/worthless) that had been ill for 38 years; Matthews 9:27-31 (Jesus heals two blind men); Job; Jeremiah 1:5a; Psalms 139:13-16; John 8:12 (KJV) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life; 1 John 1:7 (KJV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin; John 9:5 (KJV) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world;John 9:1-7 (NIV); Note: The pool of Siloam was symbolic of God’s own gracious presence with His people; Leviticus 21:16-21 NIV (The LORD said to Moses, "Say to Aaron: ’For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; … );Psalms 51:17 NIV (The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise); 2 Kings 5:1-13 NIV (Naaman Healed of Leprosy); Mark 10:46-53 NIV (Blind Bartimeus); Exodus 15:26 NIV He said, "If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”);

I. ANNOUNCE THE PERICOPE: John 9:1-7 NIV

II. READ THE PERICOPE: John 9:1-7 NIV

III. READ THE TEXT: John 9:2-3 NIV (His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life).

IV. PURPOSE: To encourage the hearers to affirm to others that God is eventually given the proper praise by demonstrating His miraculous light (in our lives) through our disabilities.

V. SERMONIC THEME: “The Disabled Disciple”

VI. Introduction: Just for a few minutes, with the promise that you WILL NOT fall asleep, I would like for everyone to close their eyes; and keep them close until I request for you to open them.

Now, with your eyes close, imagine if you will, living during a time when Electricity has not been created. The only form of light provided is through the burning of candles and observing the natural light from the stars and moonlight at night; and the sunlight during the day.

In fact, there aren’t any lights as we have grown accustom to lights in the 21st Century. As you might imagine, living in a time such as this would make the smallest task of going to one’s neighbor’s house (a mile or two down the road) very challenging to say the least. Imagine, living during a time when only the “well to do” could afford candles and you’re not one of them.

That’s right – no candles and no street lights equal darkness. It’s so dark that you can’t see your hands only inches from your face. Under these circumstances, as one might imagine, managing one’s daylight time becomes a premium.

Everyone is trying to ensure that they get as much work done as possible, during the day, because at night (without candles) no one can work; because no one can see (except by candlelight).

”You may open your eyes.”

*******TAKE 5 BEATS*******

MOVE 1: Now, my brothers and sisters, what I have just described to you is not only the conditions which existed during the First Century in the Middle East;

a. but worst, these are the conditions that exist today (during the day and during the night) for all babies that are born blind.

b. According to The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia (as recent as March 2005) A major public health milestone had been achieved in the United States.

c. The rubella virus, a major cause of serious birth defects such as deafness and blindness, also known as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), is no longer considered to be a major public health threat in the United States.

d. This is great news because During 1964 and 1965 a rubella epidemic broke out in the United States and caused …

e. … an estimated 12.5 million cases of rubella and 20,000 cases of congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) which led to more than … 3,580 babies born blind...

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