‘No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away.’
Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, ‘Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.’ But he said to them, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.’
One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side of the lake.’ So they put out, and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A gale swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. They went to him and woke him up, shouting, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?’ Luke 8:16-25
Today I go to Cambridge to attend the final commencement at my seminary , Episcopal Divinity School. The board, of which I was a member, decided to cease awarding degrees at the end of this academic year. I voted against the move and resigned from the board. Much they have done has been done in secret, and their relationship with the students and faculty has not been positive. Today I go to stand with those who, over the generations, have taught and learned together, becoming a community of light and support. We will see how the new iteration, as part of Union Seminary in New York, will be a light to the church and world. My prayer is that it can be so.
Jesus is teaching the disciples and the crowd. He has brought light into a world of darkness and shadow, and has brought healing and promise to a people in pain. Everyone from his family to the crowd and including the disciples in the boat, struggled to understand who Jesus was. He was real. He was the living presence of a loving God, light of the world, related to all. And he was honest with them and with us. We cannot crave power and abuse others and remain in relationship with God. We cannot secretively try to be the ultimate authority, when the winds and the waves know who is truly in charge. God, the source of love and power, had become family, and within all relationships we must be light, honesty and the family of God bringing love at all times.
Today, I ask God to help me be an agent of God's light. May we all carry love and compassion to the darkest, most broken places. And may we share our light with those who have been broken by power, crushed by injustice and know them to be our family in God.