“You, LORD, are the light that keeps me safe,” begins this psalm attributed to David, the man chosen by God to become Israel’s greatest king. From his youth as a shepherd, tending his father’s flocks day and night, David had known darkness and its dangers. But his confidence in the LORD was so sure, so true, that even in times of darkness he could proclaim, “I am not afraid of anyone.”Read More
As I have been writing these notes, and “living” in the world of Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph, I have been totally caught up in all the anticipation of Jesus’ coming into the world. It reminds me of the excitement of the days before Christmas that I experienced as a child. But in these notes we’re not quite ready for Luke’s Christmas story. There are two other gospel stories to look at first.Read More word, truth, grace, light
Darkness symbolizes evil, chaos and judgment. It’s the obvious opposite of light. In the beginning of the creation account in Genesis, God makes the formless and dark world light. This ninth plague unravels God’s creation and returns the land to chaos. It attacks Egypt’s most potent religious symbol, the sun god Ra, and Pharaoh himself who was considered the incarnation of Amon-Ra.Read More light, Moses, Pharoah
Luke’s story of how Jesus was born ends with two more anecdotes which connect the present (Mary and Joseph’s present) with the past. Mary and Joseph were God-fearing Jews, who took Jesus to be circumcised when he was a week old, and returned to the Temple when it came time for Mary to be purified.Read More light, Holy Spirit
A friend of mine was a Marine in the Vietnam war. He was on reconnaissance patrol with a group of soldiers one day when they found themselves trapped on a hilltop as night fell. In the darkness they could hear the Vietcong in the surrounding jungle working their way up the slope chanting, “Marine you die. Marine you die.”
Suddenly, in the distance, the Marines could hear the faint sound of a chopper sent to rescue them.Read More light, Jesus
We are made with a love for light. Sunlight streaming through a window on a winter’s day breaks the pattern of storms and early twilight, and promises that our homes and hearts will survive the darkness. It would be a tragedy to shut out this rare wonder by pulling the curtains closed.
Spiritually, every generation has those who respond to the light, and those who prefer not to stir from their dim rooms.Read More light, self-examination, blindness, darkness
The world was an unknowable wilderness when our ancestors began to make their way in it. The nights were as dark as the bottom of the sea, and the stars had no names. We did not know what it was that broke twigs in the forest outside the ring of firelight, if it would be our friend or our devourer. We did not know what was bread and what was poison.Read More creation, light, wilderness
As I have been writing these notes, and “living” in the world of Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph, I have been totally caught up in all the anticipation of Jesus’ coming into the world. It reminds me of the excitement of the days before Christmas that I experienced as a child. But in these notes we’re not quite ready for Luke’s Christmas story. There are two other gospel stories to look at first.Read More grace, light, truth
Sometimes life is reduced to the simplest of common denominators.
For instance, there was this day – a long grey day in a long grey week, week six of chemotherapy. The new drug they had said would be easier wasn’t. It knocked me to the ground and stomped on me until every bone ached. I was seriously thinking about cancelling the next dose. I just didn’t think I could do it.Read More faithfulness, light, hope
Have you ever felt “in the dark” about some issue? Darkness is a metaphor for ignorance and naiveté and here Jesus shines his light upon the ignorance of the Pharisees. He reveals that they lack perception in their judgments (v 15), they lack knowledge of who God is (v 19) and they are blind to their own earth bound perspective and allegiance (v 23).Read More light, darkness