Worship for Sunday 24th October 2021, by Deacon Pru Cahill

Jesus hears a man by the roadside calling for attention and asking for mercy.

Bartimaeus and Jesus come face to face and a miracle of healing takes place.

Bartimaeus’ cloak is thrown off, his sight is restored and he follows Jesus along the way.

Julia Stankova, Christ and Bartimaeus, 2017


Prayer of Approach

We could not approach you, O God, were it not for the person of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, Servant and Friend. His perfect love and life could have widened the gap between us and you, but instead he offered himself as the way to you, by living out the truth of your love and by blessing our lives with the gift of his life.

Accept our prayer and praise, our spoken and unspoken words of thankfulness for being able to approach you through Jesus – the way the truth and the life. In this time of worship, increase our desire to live lives which honour and glorify you. This we pray in Jesus’ name.

Hymn HP 268 My Heart and Voice I Raise                

My heart and voice I raise,

To spread Messiah’s praise;

Messiah’s praise let all repeat;

The universal Lord,

By whose almighty word

Creation rose in form complete.


A servant’s form he wore,

And in his body bore

Our dreadful curse on Calvary:

He like a victim stood,

And poured his sacred blood,

To set the guilty captives free.


But soon the Victor rose

Triumphant o’er his foes,

And led the vanquished host in chains:

He threw their empire down,

His foes compelled to own,

O’er all the great Messiah reigns.


With mercy’s mildest grace,

He governs all our race

In wisdom, righteousness, and love:

Who to Messiah fly

Shall find redemption nigh,

And all his great salvation prove.


Hail, Saviour, Prince of peace!

Thy kingdom shall increase,

Till all the world thy glory see;

And righteousness abound,

As the great deep profound,

And fill the earth with purity!

Benjamin Rhodes (1743-1815)


Prayer of Praise

Creator God, Lord of the far horizon,
you have given us a glimpse of the promised land:
a country large enough for all the peoples of the earth;
a nation of citizens where every person finds home and peace;
a time of feasting for each human soul; plenty for all and to spare.

Thank you, loving Lord,
that in your vision everyone finds a place, a welcome and a blessing.
And though we cannot yet see this dream made real on earth, grant us the courage to hope,
the faith to imagine it into being,
and the love which will give what it costs to pray:
‘Thy kingdom come!’

God of grace, we praise you for your adventurous kindness,
for the way you come looking for us
and welcome us into your kingdom;
for the way you notice us and care for us.
We thank you for the overflowing kindness of your love,
reaching to everyone, rich or poor, religious or not,
calling us into your welcoming presence.
We praise you in the name of Jesus your Son,
who came to seek and to save the lost. Amen


Prayer of Confession

Forgive us, Lord, when we are slow to see

opportunities for change in our lives

and in the lives of others.

May we never turn away those you would welcome,

or turn aside from your welcome for us;

but grow in faith and trust and generosity

and walk more closely towards Jesus,

our friend and our guide. Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

In those special moments when we know that God is close to us, it is as though everything comes together in a dream. In the appointed psalm for today the writer attempts to express those moments of awareness, when everything seems right.

 Psalm 126

 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we rejoiced.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
    like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
    reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
    carrying their sheaves.

Mark 10: 46-52

46 They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” 50 So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” 52 Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

 Hymn: StF 451 Open the Eyes of my Heart, Lord

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You, I want to see You

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You, I want to see You

To see You high and lifted up
Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy, holy, holy.

 Paul Baloche (b 1962)


Bartimaeus is one of the few named characters in Mark’s gospel. I’ve often wondered whether he knew Zacchaeus whose story is told by Luke and who was also determined to see Jesus as he passed through Jericho.

Four elements of Bartimaeus’ encounter with Jesus act as encouragement as we approach God in prayer.

Bartimaeus is penitent. The first thing we notice about his cry is that Bartimaeus recognises Jesus and his authority. Despite being blind he has recognition for Jesus. This is in contrast to the disciples who, for all the teaching they’d received from Jesus appeared to be blind to the message about the Kingdom of God.

“Son of David” was a popular way of addressing Jesus as the Messiah because it was known that the promised Messiah would be a descendent of King David. Until then, only demons and the disciples had recognised Jesus as such. Bartimaeus shows that he recognizes Jesus as Messiah; Coming face to face with the Son of God, Bartimaeus knows that he has first to ask for forgiveness.

Bartimaeus is persistent. Bartimaeus seems to have heard about Jesus long before he arrives in Jericho. Perhaps the opportunity to meet Jesus wouldn’t occur again so he has to take it. Never mind what the crowds were saying – some of them were telling him to be quiet – he ignores them and shouts even louder!

Thankfully Bartimaeus isn’t deterred by those who try to rebuke him. He is absolutely determined. Determined to see Jesus and determined for his situation to change.

There are moments in all our lives when we have to act at that moment, not be deterred by anyone else and just do what we have to do. Sometimes because the moment may not present itself again, sometimes because we’ve waited up to now and because we mustn’t wait any longer.  

Bartimaeus is plucky. Someone, we don’t know who, says ‘Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.’

This verse (10:49) is at the heart of this episode and a turning point in the healing of Bartimaeus.

Until now there is a lot of noise – the great crowd, Bartimaeus shouting, people yelling at him to shut up and Bartimaeus shouting even louder. The next thing is that Jesus stops. Even with such a commotion going on Jesus heard him.

Only moments earlier people are telling Bartimaeus to “Shut up!” They tell Bartimaeus to “Cheer Up” because it is good news that Jesus is calling him and they want to see what happens next.

Bartimaeus is precise. Jesus asks a direct question: what do you want me to do for you?

It would be ridiculous for any of us to go to the doctor knowing we need healing and not be specific about what we want the outcome to be. Bartimaeus doesn’t concern himself with what form a cure might take, or how it might be accomplished. He simply tells Jesus what he wants and receives what he asks for.

I wonder, how might the story of Bartimaeus inspire your relationship with Jesus today?


HP 378  Be Thou My Vision


Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Be all else but naught to me, save that thou art;
Be thou my best thought in the day and the night,
Both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
Be thou ever with me, and I with thee, Lord;
Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise;
Be thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Be thou and thou only the first in my heart,
O high King of heaven, my treasure thou art.

High King of heaven, thou heaven’s bright Sun,
O grant me its joys, after vict’ry is won;
Great Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be thou my vision, O Ruler of all.

Irish c 8th century


Prayer of Intercession

Spirit of God, in your power Jesus spoke of preaching good news to the poor, setting captives free and recovering the sight of the blind, to free the oppressed and announce salvation.
We pray today for all who seek good news:

  • for our neighbours in Christ in this place/town/village;
  • for those announcing good news;
  • for those who are less free to worship than we are; and
  • for those who seek faith.

Spirit of God, hear our prayer.

We pray today for all with the power to free captives:

  • for those who govern us, internationally, nationally and locally;
  • for those with the power to free the oppressed, and
  • for those who deny people freedom of conscience and belief,

Spirit of God, hear our prayer.

We pray today for all with the ability to relieve all sorts of suffering:

  • for medical professionals
  • for those who work alongside suffering peoples across the world; and
  • for those who can see no end their own or their neighbour’s suffering.

Spirit of God, hear our prayer.
Spirit of God, hear all our prayers, spoken and unspoken, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Hymn: HP 242 Mine Eyes have seen the Glory 

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He have loosed the fateful lightening of his terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on

Glory, Glory alleluia!
Glory, Glory alleluia!
Glory, Glory alleluia!
His truth is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment-seat
Oh, be swift, my soul to answer, be jubilant, my feet
His truth is marching on.

Glory, Glory alleluia!
Glory, Glory alleluia!
Glory, Glory alleluia!
His truth is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me
As he died to make men holy let us die to make men free
While God is marching on

Glory, Glory alleluia!
Glory, Glory alleluia!
Glory, Glory alleluia!
His truth is marching on

Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910)


Go into this week,
with the mercy of God embracing you,
the healing power of Jesus enfolding you,
and the energy of the Holy Spirit sustaining you.

May the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be upon us and remain with us always. Amen.