We have all witnessed this scene: the bride and groom are standing at the altar of the church surrounded by the members of the wedding party, their families, and the congregants. The pastor has opened the ceremony with scripture and prayer, and has sought the blessing of both sets of parents to the marriage. Then the members of the wedding party sit on the front pews and the bride and groom are seated in the chancel facing the congregation. The pastor prepares to read some scripture before offering a brief homily to the couple and to the congregation.
“And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.” (v. 52b)
Good morning whoever is out there.
I hope you boys and girls are here this morning. Since I can't see you, let me know if you are actually present. (have the children touch and/or speak and/or sing) (Humor works, like have the children repeat something silly like, “Good morning fantastic, awesome, most highest lord pastor/teacher”)
I remember going to a Lent group years ago, where the priest gave all us lay folk a piece of paper and a pen and asked us to write down what we knew about Jesus. He didn't want us to write down what we'd been told about Jesus or read about Jesus, but simply what we knew for ourselves from our own experience.
I ended up with a blank sheet of paper, but one person wrote, "I know that Jesus saves me." That led onto an interesting discussion along the lines of: saves you from something? Or for something?