“I am the light…”;
Tony E Dillon Hansen
12 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.” (John 8:12 NRSV)
Walking around in the night can be trouble but why do we? I will fumble through things and stub my toe while walking in dark rooms, and only then, I might turn on the light. Still, it is not like we have to remain in the dark, but yet, maybe darkness offers a weird sense of comfort. Does it? During Lent, we are reminded of how in our lives that we walk in darkness and how we simply do not attempt to find the light switch.
John 8 begins with a crowd bringing a woman (guilty of adultery) to test Jesus. They expect Jesus to judge her and cast judgment. Instead, Jesus challenges us and asks us whom among us has not sinned is whom can be the first to throw stones. The woman is set free. Then, Jesus tells us the divine light is not just for the so-called righteous and privileged but also the oppressed and all sinners. We are called to follow the light and to be free in the light.
When we look at people with judging eyes and mind, what light do we share? What light do we ignore? The lesson then reminds us that this light “judge[s] no one”. So why do we?
Are we so twisted in our own spiritual darkness, righteousness, privilege and judgment that we need to cast our darkness upon others instead of light? We act, react, and want answers to wrongs, injustice and pains - even feel deserved in that. Perhaps, that is valid, but are letting darkness guide us into communal misery versus allowing the light to free us? Is that darkness truly what we ought to have? Dwelling in this darkness, we are, instead, not allowing the Spirit to guide us, to lift us or to stir us. Maybe light and forgiveness seem scary, but these are God’s gifts to us. Maybe in the darkness and silence, we relinquish God-given freedom.
Thus, if we consider what Jesus is fundamentally saying, we might see Jesus permitting us to be love and light to people in the world. Most importantly, we are permitted to love ourselves rather than be in dark discontent. This loving light can then be powerful and transcending.
Turn on the light, walk away from dark discontent and judgment. Then you can let the loving light of wisdom, love and faith be your guide instead of wandering aimlessly within the ego-self. Thus, our hearts will grow because we seek beyond fears, stones of judgments, and internal darkness. We may find the Spirit settling into our hearts so that we might witness the light already shining within us. When we do, we might let that comforting light be us and stir us.
May the One, who shines light upon us, be with us this season as we seek to let go of spiritual darkness. Remind us to not throw stones of judgment, but let us instead find space for our neighbors and their struggles in our hearts. Let us witness Your light in our thoughts, actions and lives. May we find comfort in Your stirring Spirit. Amen.