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." John 8:12-19
We are deep in the season of Epiphany, the season of light. Although the world has turned and we are gaining more light each day, it seems to be a very dark season, with plenty of storm clouds and early dropping night. Living Epiphany means having to find the light in the midst of darkness and discouragement, seeking possibility when all around seems dead. It means finding new ways home, as the Magi did, and willingly being aliens as did Mary and Joseph. Living the Epiphany means stretching beyond comfort to embrace the living God.
Jesus was again talking about himself in the presence of those who were bound by time, space and their very limited cultural understandings. They lived by specific rules and judgements, and could not imagine life without defining people by status, wealth and being born to the right group. Their standards saw only limits, and legal arguments, not the possibilities of God. And we too can be trapped by our own way of knowing, which often considers our way as the best. And God invites us, in this holy season, to be remade by the light, and to catch a new vision of what is present and what is possible.
Today, I ask God to help me see beyond my own shallow limitations. May we find our understandings expanded by God's grace, willing to embrace insights and people who are different from us. And may we receive the gifts we have been given and use them to bring light to the world.