The 2015 Lenten season is almost here!  We say:  “Time surely flies!”  Not true for everyone.  Time dragged on and on for Bartimaeus, the blind man.  Day after day he sat at the wayside begging.  How empty and distressing was his life!
But one day, as he was sitting at his usual place, he became aware of a lot of excitement.  When he asked what the excitement was all about, he was told it was Jesus of Nazareth passing by.  In that moment his life changed.  Bartimaeus cried out:  “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me” (Luke 18:38).  What a beautiful Lenten prayer!
In a way, Bartimaeus wasn’t so blind after all.  With his physical eyes he could see nothing.  Spiritually, however, he saw what many Old Testament prophets and kings desired and longed to see.  And the people around Bartimaeus soon saw something too:  a great miracle of Jesus – by just speaking the word – gave Bartimaeus his sight.  Yet Bartimaeus himself had already experienced a far greater miracle.  No human being by his or her own reason or strength can come to “see” Jesus the way Bartimaeus did.  This miracle of faith was done by the Holy Spirit who by God’s grace gave “spiritual sight” to him, and by that same grace the Spirit works in us.
During this 2015 Lenten season we will also see Jesus “pass by” in a very special way.  What will we see in Jesus?  Will we follow Him only as long as things go right?  Will we think of Him only when a major crisis arises?   Do we look upon Christianity only as something nice to be a part of, but all the while, only dimly see our own desperate need of a Savior from sin?  Let us pray for better vision – true, spiritual sight – this Lenten season as we follow our Savior on the road to Calvary’s cross and the empty tomb!

Our Lord Jesus asks us the same question He asked His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane:  “Could you not keep watch with me for one hour?” (Matthew 26:40).

Pastor James Castillo  & Pastor Robert Fleischmann

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies. ~ John 11:25