Not much to look at, really. Nothing much to behold — unless it was because of some morbid fascination — just the lame, the blind, the crippled, along with those unable to speak. Cripple-Con, a gathering of the needy, the marginalized, those voted least to succeed at anything. And at the center of their gathering? Jesus.

They put them at His feet, and He healed them. So the crowd was amazed when they saw those unable to speak talking, the crippled restored, the lame walking, and the blind seeing, and they gave glory to the God of Israel.

(Matthew 15:30b-31 CSB)

A large crowd came to Jesus. A diverse set of people, yet a common desire. To see their children, their parents, their friends, and loved ones healed by the hand of Jesus.

And see it they did. Mute people talking. Lame people walking. Blind people seeing. Crippled people made sound in body. And what did they do besides talking, walking, seeing, and trying out their newly restored faculties? They gave glory to the God of Israel.

Being made whole has a way of doing that to you, it seems. Remember the response of the man who was lame from birth after his encounter with Peter and John in Acts 3?

But Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” Then, taking him by the right hand he raised him up, and at once his feet and ankles became strong.  So he jumped up and started to walk, and he entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God.

(Acts 3:6-8 CSB)

I too go regularly to my own kind of Cripple-Con. A Sunday morning assembly of those who themselves were once blind, deaf, mute, and crippled in heart and spirit. Blind people seeing the Word as it is displayed on the screen. Deaf people hearing the Word as it is proclaimed from the pulpit. People once unable to utter the language of the kingdom calling out to the God of heaven knowing He hears their voice. Those who were once darkness, crippled to their core by sin, now people of light, born again of sound soul, spirit, and mind. And, along with everything else, at this Cripple-Con they come together to give glory to God.

If for no other reason than as a reminder of whence we came, the people of God should frequently jump up and use once lame legs to enter the temple of God to be with those who have also known the healing touch of Jesus. We should gather, if no other reason than to be reminded through the preaching of the word and the proclamation of the gospel that we too were once deaf but now we hear, were once blind but now we see. If no other reason — though can there be any better reason? — than to give glory to God and praise His wonderful name, we should raise our once muted voices together in worship and praise His name.

Those who gather little I fear may have come to appreciate little the privilege of being made whole through the finished work of the cross. May have come to take for granted eyes that now see, ears that now hear, and a voice that now speaks. May have become discouraged by others who, like them, are still a work in progress, being made fully whole when faith in Jesus gives way to being face-to-face with Jesus.

Cripple-Con. For the blind who see and are yet to see perfectly. For the deaf who hear and will one day hear perfectly. For the lame who walk and will soon and very soon walk perfectly.

For sinners made whole only His by grace. Who come together longing foremost only to give Him glory.

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