Fourth Sunday in Lent - March 2, 2008
1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41
Of course, “darkness” is used as a metaphor. Nowadays we don’t often spend much time in the real dark. If we’re out at night there are streetlights or headlights to illumine the way. At home there’s the comfort of light bulbs and the glow of TVs. Even adventurous cave explorers take light with them.
Yet darkness is unfortunately not that strange to us. At times it can be dark indeed.
Circumstances can seem hopeless. We can sink into depths of depression. We wander in the gloom of ignorance and sin. Sometimes we cower in the moral darkness of things concealed and secrets hidden from sight. Truth be told, we never stand very far from the dark of the grave. The journey of Lent began with the dark of ashes: “Remember that you are dust...”
God’s light shines into each kind of darkness.
The story of the man born blind (John 9) works on a number of levels. The very mud of creation, the same earth to which we will one day return, Jesus uses to bring sight. The man’s eyes gradually open to sight. Yet, with his eyes now open, the man also learns to see. His new eyes see prejudice and ignorance. He sees the darkness of false judgment.
He begins to see that he has been brought into a new vision of the world. And his own learning process has brought him into a new relationship with his healer, the One Who Is Sent.
When we live into our healing, we discover what God is leading us toward. “The light will show what these things are really like” (Ephesians 5:13, CEV).
Yes, we already know quite enough about darkness. The problem is when we walk in darkness, when we’re accustomed to it, we need the light to show us the way out. God’s light shines, and gives us the power to be more than the darkness, more than the dust from which we have come. “Now you are people of the light because you belong to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8, CEV). When the Lord has touched us, formed us with holy hands, the darkness is no longer part of us, because we now shine.
Available with additional content at the American Bible Society's Bible Resource Center.
Illustrations added March, 2011.