Thursday, March 19, 2020
As a Pops, I have learned that my grandchildren love to sleep with us. We have a king bed, so there is always room. So that morning stands out sharply in my mind … the night our oldest grandson (now six) … was sleeping with us. Daylight had just barely come through the window above our bed. I was sleeping soundly, when suddenly I awoke to breath on my face. I opened my eyes to find his eyes only inches from my eyes. The reason I remember that night so quickly is that the body’s sudden dose of adrenaline not only wakes us up … it sears memories in the brain.
Paul here is describing people who are in darkness without even knowing they are in the darkness. We live in a world defined by sin and brokenness.
Religious folks, lest we get too excited about pointing out the sins of everyone else, Paul reminds us that, we too, are exposed in the light. He says,“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness.” That means we don’t repay violence with violence. It means we come to a deeper understanding of the harm we do with the very unloving ways we confront people to “set them straight” (while really just wanting another notch in our bible). It means we have to examine our own behaviors, thoughts, and beliefs to see that they align with those of Christ.
Paul says, when we find ourselves in the Lord, we will become light itself. The challenge now is to let our light illuminate the darkness (often even within our own families, our own communities, and our own churches). It means we are called to take a stand for justice … for peace … for God’s righteousness.
Then when we see the truth lying beneath the darkness, we are called to wake up … to provide that shot of adrenaline by looking lovingly into the eyes of the one in the darkness. “Wake up! God’s reckless love has been cast in you. God is here for you!”
Wake us up, Lord, with the light of your love. Use us to illuminate your presence and your love cast recklessly throughout creation. Amen.