LENT Day 23 – Darkness

I am the Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in me won’t have to stay any longer in the dark. – John 12

I don’t sleep well.  I feel like I have never slept well.  I have a smart watch and track my sleep.  There are some days when it cannot even track one sleep cycle because I’m basically awake all night long.  Most days though, I’m sleeping, but spend only zero to forty five minutes in deep sleep.  On average my husband and/or son spend about one hour and thirty minutes to over two hours in deep sleep.  What does this mean for me; besides being tired most days, I spend a lot of time awake in the darkness.

Growing up I lived in a spit entry house.  On the upper level there was a hallway with one bathroom and two bedrooms.  My bedroom and my parent’s bedroom.  Even back then, I didn’t sleep a whole lot.  I remember waking up and not wanting to wake up my parents.  I would get up and sit against the wall between our rooms and stare down the dark hallway.  After I would be there awhile I remember thinking I saw things like bugs or snakes on the carpet.  I remember the darkness, the quiet, and feeling alone.

If you are ever in the dark for a period of time, your eyes adjust, but they definitely will play tricks on you.  You may think you see something that isn’t there or you may hear something that activates your imagination.  It may make you think something is true that indeed is not.

In today’s reading Their Eyes Are Blinded, there was so much darkness around.  Jesus goes into hiding.  Leaders that believe in him are hiding it because they are afraid.

Jesus summed it up when he cried out, “Whoever believes in me, believes not just in me but in the One who sent me.  Whoever looks at me is looking, in fact, at the One who sent me.  I am Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in me won’t have to stay any longer in the dark.

Jesus takes these dark moments to remind people that he is here on earth to be the light that sets us free, but if people refuse that light they are choosing rejection.

“If anyone hears what I am saying and doesn’t take it seriously, I don’t reject him.  I didn’t come to reject the world; I came to save the world.  But you need to know that whoever puts me off, refusing to take in what I’m saying, is willfully choosing rejection.  The Word, the Word-made flesh that I have spoken and that I am, that Word, and no other is the last word.  I’m not making any of this up on my own.  The Father who sent me gave me orders, told me what to say and how to say it.  And I know exactly what his command produces:  real and eternal life.  That’s all I have to say.  What the Father told me, I tell you.”

Let’s not knowingly sit in the darkness.  Don’t be schemed into thinking something is true that isn’t by sitting in the dark.  Jesus brought the light to this world a long time ago, that is still available to you and I.  Let’s not sit inside of the darkness of fear, anger, and isolation.  Let’s instead be the light of kindness, love, and happiness within our new normal.  Don’t refuse the light of Jesus.  Don’t be blinded today or any day.

STUDY – John 12 (Their Eyes Are Blinded) – The Message Bible
Jesus said all this, and then went into hiding.  All these God-signs he had given them and they still didn’t get it, still wouldn’t trust him.   This proved that the prophet Isaiah was right:
God, who believed what we preached?
Who recognized God’s arm, outstretched and ready to act?
First they wouldn’t believe, then they couldn’t – again, just as Isaiah said: 
Their eyes are blinded,
their hearts are hardened, 
So that they wouldn’t see with their eyes
and perceive with their hearts,
And turn to me, God,
so I could heal them.
Isaiah said these things after he got a glimpse of God’s cascading brightness that would pour through the Messiah.
On the other hand, a considerable number from the ranks of the leaders did believe.  But because of the Pharisees, they didn’t come out in the open with it.  They were afraid of getting kicked out of the meeting place.  When push came to shove they cared more for human approval than for God’s glory.
Jesus summed it up when he cried out, “Whoever believes in me, believes not just in me but in the One who sent me.  Whoever looks at me is looking, in fact, at the One who sent me.  I am Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in me won’t have to stay any longer in the dark.
“If anyone hears what I am saying and doesn’t take it seriously, I don’t reject him.  I didn’t come to reject the world; I came to save the world.  But you need to know that whoever puts me off, refusing to take in what I’m saying, is willfully choosing rejection.  The Word, the Word-made flesh that I have spoken and that I am, that Word, and no other is the last word.  I’m not making any of this up on my own.  The Father who sent me gave me orders, told me what to say and how to say it.  And I know exactly what his command produces:  real and eternal life.  That’s all I have to say.  What the Father told me, I tell you.”

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