Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." Then the Pharisees said to him, "You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid." Jesus answered, "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge by human standards; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid. I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf." Then they said to him, "Where is your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also." He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple, but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come. John 8:12-20 (NRSV)
The light here is Helena is different from my East Coast homes, and different also from our time in Sitka. The light at day's end is is fierce and intense across the big sky and big mountains here. The light in the evening is mottled and filtered through deep green trees in my mother's back yard. The light in Sitka was most often soft and shadowy due to low clouds and damp air. Light is different everywhere and yet so necessary to us all.
Jesus is in the midst of a holy festival and on the hot seat. He could have walked away but instead he told the truth of who he was. He knew shedding light on it would make him many enemies among the religious leadership. It would upset the comfortable and the safe. The light of the world was offering to them new life, new hope and reconciliation, and they coveted their comfort more than their healing. We are invited today to let go of our comforts and head into the light.
Today I ask God to help me explore this new world with an open heart and an open mind. May we all be ready to see the light of the world and be changed forever. May we let go of comforts so that love's light might pour into our hearts today.