Darkness and Light

Daily reading: John 12:20-36
Holy Tuesday April 11, 2017

Focus passage:  Jesus replied, “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.” John 12:35

So much of holy week happens in the dark.  Jesus shared his last meal with his disciples under the cover of night, took them to the garden to pray in the darkness, was arrested and taken into custody all under the cover of night.  He was then placed into a cell, which was most likely a hole in the ground that he was lowered into, dark and isolated.  According to Luke, darkness descended upon Jerusalem at noon on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion.  

As we remember the stories of Jesus’ last day this week, we hear Jesus urge us to walk in the light and not in the darkness.  With the darkness of Thursday and Friday just a few days away, we are invited to walk in the light and become the light.  

For some time I was a proponent of approaching holy week from the perspective of the disciples, of trying to imagine the full darkness of the week without reminding myself of the brilliant light of Easter.  But I think this text begs us to embrace the resurrection as we walk through this week.  As post Easter people, our perspective on light and dark changes.  We can say with confidences as the psalmist does “surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night, even darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.”

Even when darkness descends we are not to allow it to overcome us.  For we proclaim as Paul did that we are convinced “that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

As the darkness of this week descends, let your light shine, let the presence of Christ be a witness to our world that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”  


Prayer:  God walk with me through this week of betrayal, denial, desertion and crucifixion.  In the noise and busy-ness of my day may I remember to stay grounded in your love. Amen.

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