Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch newsletter 20 June 2021
Bridges are on my mind today. First, the Historical Society in Dayboro, where Leisa and I spent 5 happy years at the lovely little town’s lovely Uniting Church (we’re still spending happy years at this lovely city’s lovely Kirwan Uniting Church, by the way 🙂), reminded Facebook that I had blessed the town’s new bridge in 2012. And that I had never blessed a bridge before. Neither have I since. That conjured up an ear worm of Simon and Garfunkel (giving my age away 🥲). Bridge over Troubled Waters is one of the few tunes which I can plink out on a piano, although I make a better stab of it on a harmonica.
Do you remember the story in John 5 of the lame man at Bethesda Pool? The familiar verse 4 is missing in most modern translations, because it appears in some manuscripts, but doesn’t in later discovered scrolls which might be more reliable.
At this pool, blind, lame, paralysed people gathered “waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.” One chap had been severely disabled for thirty-eight years. Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be well?” To which the lame man replied, “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” And of course, Jesus heals him. “Take up your mat and walk”.
To be at that pool in the first place, Jesus had laid down his heavenly glory, “Emptied himself of all but love”, and would lay down his life. All to make our souls well. Don’t worry, musos, we won’t sing it in a service:
When you're weary
When tears are in your eyes
I'll dry them all
I'm on your side
Oh, when times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down