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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Today’s Reading | John 12:27–36

“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.” After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them. (NRSV)


It should have been obvious, shouldn’t it? Who this Son of Man was. The presence of the light. The benefit of embracing light over darkness.

Or so it seems to us, as we read John’s Gospel. From its opening verses, John points us to the light. Who is this Jesus? He is the one who “was the light of all people,” the one who was in the beginning with God, when God separated the light from the darkness. It’s all laid out in front of us.

But when realization does not meet expectation, it can be easy to miss. The crowd that had gathered around Jesus expected a Messiah who would remain forever, not one who would suffer death. They did not see what they were looking for.

In my childhood bedroom, one of the ceiling fixtures was fitted with a single 40-watt bulb. When I would come upstairs on a rainy day or in early evening, the light that bulb cast didn’t seem to be light at all. I was expecting something as bright as the lamps downstairs.

But this bulb was, in its own way, one of the brightest in the room. It was the light my parents turned on when they woke me up. Then, in the darkness of early morning, that light illuminated all that needed to be seen, gently awakening me to the newness of the day. And in that newness, with no expectations or comparison, I could see the light, and it shone brightly.


Light of all, in my baptism you claimed me as your own, a child of light. Yet sometimes I miss the glimmers of your love shining in and around my life. Open my eyes to the many ways in which you are present to and for us, and guide me, that my life may always bear witness to your light among us. Amen.

Written by Ann Rehfeldt, Director of Communications

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