Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Darkness Did Not Overcome the Light

One of my favorite times of the day, I've come to discover, is the early morning.  And during the weeks of Advent, there was a beauty to the quiet and dim light as it began streaming in through the stained glass windows in the nave.   As I looked at this light, I couldn't help but think about the symbolism of light illuminate various saints, Mary, and Christ...even represented as the Lamb.  The light coming through these images helped to provide the natural light that shone on the pews and began to brighten the otherwise darkened nave. 

It is very much like this, I think, when the "Sun of Righteousness, the heavenly-born Prince of Peace" begins to light up our hearts, minds and souls.  And, much like those stained glass windows,  the more we allow the light of Christ to come through us, the more we illumine the spaces around us and bring those beautiful colored beams into the lives of those around us, some of whom could use some light in their lives.  

For the First Sunday after Christmas, the evangelist John's opening lines of his Gospel included a statement I had never caught before:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Besides the "Word" taking on an earthly, fleshy appearance in John's prologue, the Word was also life and the life is the light, and that light is in everyone.  What an incredibly hopeful statement!  And it affirms, for me, that sense that I, too, have the potential to be life, to be light, to be Christ in this world where cynicism and anxiety abounds.  How can I do this?  Am I suggesting that I am on par with God?  No, because even Christ never equated himself to God during this time when he was made "a little lower than the angels."  But what Christ gives us an example that anyone... even those who are not specifically following Christ... can and sometimes do:  "Bind up the brokenhearted," "Liberate the captives," "Release the captives," "Comfort those who mourn."   Just as Jesus quoted these words of Isaiah and proclaimed them fulfilled in the hearing, we, too, especially if we call ourselves Christian, if we believe ourselves to be the adopted children of God, have a charge to do these same things for our fellow travelers on this planet.  So, in the words of Nike, "Just Do It."

Christ for the world we sing,
The world to Christ we bring, with loving zeal,
The poor and them that mourn, the faint and overborne,
Sin sick and sorrow worn, whom Christ doth heal.

No comments: