Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Children of the Light

‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—“Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. The crowd answered him, ‘We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?’ Jesus said to them, ‘The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.’ After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them. John 12:27-36

We are very careful these days, and rightly so, about the sun. Many people have suffered from cancers caused by overexposure to the sun, and so we slather on sunscreen and protect ourselves against the damaging rays. Some studies show that many American children are now suffering the effects of light deprivation - thin porous bones, vitamin D deficiencies and the like. Our children don't play outside nearly enough and when they do they are slathered in sunscreen and protective clothing. Our care and worry is causing us to miss physical life enhancing benefits. And likewise, we can rob ourselves and our children of exposure to the light of faith.

We find Jesus, struggling with what he must do and his care for the world. With the awesome burden of living between two worlds and so many roles, we see a very human Christ, while we hear a very Godly God. He struggles to know how to show those gathered around him the reality of God's love and the seriousness of the situation, while balancing their need for protection and care. Like a parent torn between the physical needs of our children and the myriad of expert opinions, we see Jesus prayerfully struggling and accepting his path and his role. The awfulness of what he has to face is temporary and the greater good that follows is glorious. But living int he in-between time, in light and shadow is often difficult and perplexing.

Today, we ask God to help us to live faithfully through Holy Week, preparing our hearts and bodies for the coming of Easter. As we celebrate and remember, may we also enter into the real pain and suffering of the world around us, knowing that Christ's light is coming to shed healing and restoration through all the world.

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