Saturday, April 16, 2011
Light in the Darkness
Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” John 12:37-50
The nights in Cape May Point are very dark. After living for years near the biggest city in the world, it is astounding to tuck in at night in real total darkness. Every star is visible and the moon is so pronounced ans so visible. When we walk or take a bike ride at night we are mesmerized by the night sky, with all its definition and character, so long missing from our sight. It can be easy to lose perspective and assume that one way of seeing is the norm. We got used to seeing only partially, but now we can see the complete dark night sky with all the wonderful stars and planets inn full view. It is so easy to accept obstruction when it becomes habit, comforting and familiar. And when the full lights in the darkness are revealed, it is hard not to be sad for all the nights we missed seeing the Pleiades, Orion and the north star so clearly.
The religious leaders and those gathered at the temple want to believe what they have seen and heard, but are afraid. They know they will be tossed out of the temple if they articulate their capacity to believe in Jesus. He knows their struggle and ours. We humans get used to a way of being, even when it is partial and obstructed, destructive or burdensome. We like the familiar, even when familiar is not life giving and healing. We would rather cling, to the normal than to accept we need and ache for healing. We shutter in the dark rather than come into the light.
Today, I ask God to give me the courage to shuck off the familiar and accept the radiance of Christ's light. May we step into Christ's fullness, where God is bringing us healing and life, in spite of the dark times and the challenges ahead. May we all let go of comfort, be fearless in the face of rejection and revel in the light of Christ which brings God's healing and love daily to our lives.