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Lightness of being, darkness in deed

by davesandel on December 28th, 2012

Lightness of being, darkness in deed

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Fourth Day of Christmas

1 John 1:5

This is the message that we have heard from Jesus Christ and proclaim to you: “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.”

From the first days of his life Jesus lived in the light.  The angel of the Lord told Joseph, “Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”  So Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and fled to Egypt.

Immediately after they left, many babies were killed in Bethlehem.  Herod channeled the wrath of Satan as Satan lost his chance to kill the God baby.  There was great weeping, not just in Bethlehem but also in Egypt, and also in heaven.  The light cast a shadow, but the light was not extinguished.

The poetry of today’s lectionary psalm (124) brings out the desperate straits we mostly don’t realize we’re in: “Broken was the snare, and we were freed.  Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.”

We never are so trapped as when we think we’re free.  We are never so much in the dark as when we think that now we can see clearly.

Seeing through our “freedom” to our createdness requires these paradoxical “know-ledges.” They are the stuff mystery is made of.  Mystery is the most satisfying kind of knowing, because as I look over its cliff sometimes I get just a glimpse of the edges of infinity and the wonder of God.

This glimpse, for even just a moment, transforms my life.  God’s light beams bright and strong into the darkness.  Death no longer has power or sting; its control over me withers and shrinks away from this light.  Though my body will die, in this there will be no darkness.

In you there is no darkness at all, Lord.  If we walk in your light then we have fellowship with one another.  And your blood, Jesus, cleanses us from all sin.


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