Let Your Light Flood In (September 10, 2012)

…Opening To…

Look upon me, O Lord, and let all the darkness of my soul vanish before the beams of your brightness. (Saint Augustine of Hippo)

…Listening In…

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light. (John 1:1, 3b-5; context)

…Filling Up…

This week we are going to talk about light. And by extension that means we’ll also talk about darkness. These are two images that appear over and over again throughout the Bible. The Gospel according to John uses them quite a bit to talk about people who are living the way that Jesus teaches (those who walk in the light) and to talk about people who are not (those who walk in darkness). Often, people are confused into thinking that light and darkness are equal, but opposite concepts. But John sees it differently – in the poetry of the prologue to the Gospel (part of which is quoted above), John says that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness can’t really do anything to stop it.

This poetic use of light and darkness illustrate a more complicated theological point about good and evil, which boils down to this. Good wins. It may not always look like the mostly likely outcome, but this is the claim that John is making. Think about these two examples.

First, you walk down a dark hallway and stop in front of a door. Inside the room all the lights are on. You open the door. Now, what happens? The darkness moves from the hallway through the open doorway, and enters the room, right? Of course not. The light from the room always floods into the dark hallway. Darkness doesn’t extinguish light. In other words, evil doesn’t win in the end.

Second, lighting a candle in a dark room provides a sphere of dancing light around the flame. Have you ever seen a ball of dancing darkness in a bright room? Of course not. Light always triumphs over darkness. John uses the language of light to talk about Jesus Christ because of light’s power to brighten the dark places of the world and of our lives. Stay tuned for more about light in the days ahead.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you bathe us in the light of your grace. Help me to open the doors of my soul and let your light flood in. Help me to ignite my spirit with your fire and take it to dark places; in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, knowing that you are a light that never goes out. You are always shining on the path that takes me home.

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