Good morning all! I am not yet back up to speed but I am getting a little closer so I will give this a whirl again this morning.
John 8:12-18The Message
12 Jesus once again addressed them: “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.”
13 The Pharisees objected, “All we have is your word on this. We need more than this to go on.”
14-18 Jesus replied, “You’re right that you only have my word. But you can depend on it being true. I know where I’ve come from and where I go next. You don’t know where I’m from or where I’m headed. You decide according to what you can see and touch. I don’t make judgments like that. But even if I did, my judgment would be true because I wouldn’t make it out of the narrowness of my experience but in the largeness of the One who sent me, the Father. That fulfills the conditions set down in God’s Law: that you can count on the testimony of two witnesses. And that is what you have: You have my word and you have the word of the Father who sent me.”
At some point during our journey, we have to talk about the darkness and light conversation. The juxtaposition of darkness and light is all over the bible. It starts with creation and then goes from there. The assumption is that light is better than the dark and it is what we should strive for. Certainly, the Gospel of John hits this theme throughout the story line. Jesus is light and we are to follow light.
In the ancient world, light was considered the way to go. Darkness represented chaos and pain while light was considered holy and good. Certainly we should pursue the light.
Lately that conversation has been questioned a bit because many of us in the world have come to realize that there is an issue with that paradigm. Things are not so black and white so to say. Good things often come out of the darkest of nights. Without darkness, we don’t even know what light is. Creation comes out of the darkness. God creates not just from light but from darkness as well. Have you stood out somewhere where it is really dark? What could you see? Could you see more clearly? When I worked for Sierra Service Project and worked on different Native American reservations, this was one of my favorite things, to walk out in the middle of the reservation at night so I could see stars more clearly. In the darkness, things became so much clearer. The stars shone brighter and there was peace. That’s not so bad, is it?
Jesus often goes off to pray in the darkness in the new testament and then he comes back to preach about light. Of course, seeing where there is light is a lofty goal. We can’t stay in the darkness. If our best thoughts come to us in the dark, we have to bring them to light at some point. If we are re created at night time, we face the day even brighter.
I am not arguing for light or dark but for balance. If we didn’t stumble in the darkness, we wouldn’t know what following in the light meant. If we didn’t dwell a bit in the night, we wouldn’t be able to see light in the day. If we only strive for light, we miss the balance and the beauty that is dark.
Where is your balance between light and dark?