The Second Sunday After Pentecost C, June 19, 2022
“Return to your home and declare how
much God has done for you”
Jesus makes even this man an apostle. Sure, he doesn’t send him to the ends of the earth, but he does make him a witness to the one who healed him, Jesus Christ. His sending isn’t spectacular or dramatic. It may be merely to his home where his household and his neighbors would hear his declarations. Surely, his presence would give a silent testimony as he lived among them clothed and in his right mind. Two things should be noted here. The first is that Jesus sends almost all the recipients of his divine healing home. If that sending is not explicit as it is here, it is implied by the lack of calling to a more spectacular service. The second thing to note is the metaphoric possibilities for this little phrase “clothed and in his right mind.” We can be sure that “clothed” stands in contrast to “naked” which was the common condition of the man when he was demon-possessed. It could also be a metaphor for “clothed in Christ.” Paul uses this metaphor in Galatians 3:27, among other places. We can also be sure that “in his right mind” is opposed to the “wrong-headedness” of being demon-possessed. But it, too, may well stand for Paul’s exhortation in Philippians 2:5-6— “Have this mind among you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Here is another extension of the “Blessed Exchange.” Our human minds, bound as they are to our own self-interest, are exchanged for Jesus’ mind, set on being poured out for others. As a metaphor, “clothed and in his right mind” could well be a fine description of the Christian.
Prayers from one who longs to be clothed in Christ and to have the mind of Christ…
My Father in heaven, give me ears to hear the Holy Spirit calling me through the Gospel, enlightening me with his gifts, sanctifying and keeping me in true faith that I, too, may be clothed in Christ and have his mind. For Jesus’ sake, hear my prayer.
My Father in heaven, attune my ears to hear the place where I am being sent and grant that I do not spurn that place for being humble and inglorious. For Jesus’ sake, hear my prayer.
My Father in heaven, fill my ears with your Word of promise that my lips would be opened in your praise. For Jesus’ sake, hear my prayer.
My Father in heaven, grant me kindness to my neighbors such that, no matter the magnitude of the kindness shown, my heart remains humble and contrite. For Jesus’ sake, hear my prayer.
My Father in heaven, grant me to be grateful for the daily bread delivered to me out of the kindness of my neighbors. For Jesus’ sake, hear my prayer.
My Father in heaven, keep the Institute of Lutheran Theology clothed in Christ both inside and out; keep it always in the mind of Christ so that he is preached as Christ, him alone, and him crucified. For Jesus’ sake, hear my prayer.
My Father in heaven, hold me in both patient waiting and eager anticipation as I awake each day to the expectation that this… this will be the day of his return in glory. For Jesus’ sake, hear my prayer.
My Father in heaven, I lay all these things in your hands in the confidence that you have heard my prayers. In Jesus’ name. Amen