Lighting up the Darkness:Letting the Light shine through -December 9

zodiacal_beletsky_potw-768x568Have you ever seen someone who looks familiar, but it has been so long since you saw them that you fail to recognize them, even if you had previously been with them constantly at one point? Many years ago, I attended the funeral of one of my cousin’s grandmothers. It had been more than 15 years since we had seen each other as kids. While she looked like just an older version of herself, I apparently looked quite a bit differently. When the curiosity had finally annoyed her enough, she asked if I was one of the funeral directors… expecting a different answer than yes. Our relationship, while never fun as kids, was able to develop into one of the best I have known since. She was able to help me through one of the most devastating times in my life by advocating for me to take care of myself and her friendship continues to be one of my most treasured.

Expanding upon John’s narrative on who Jesus is on a supernatural level, John 1:9-13 speaks more about the Light that had come to the world, unrecognized, unwelcome, yet born of God. The Hebrew prophesies found in Isaiah 53:1-11, prophesied that this would be the case when the Messiah would come. He would be bruised, beaten, and disregarded because we would not recognize Him as Savior and King. The Messiah would come as an ordinary, unseemly person, One that would give no impetus to believe in Him for any outside reason. Those who would believe would be those who heard the voice of God, saw Him as a sign of faith. When we do not recognize someone for who they are and how they relate to us, the relationship that would result is unable to change who we are, the very relationship would change EVERYTHING.

During this time of year, there is a song that is sung which was first sung as a Negro Spiritual. “Sweet Little Jesus Boy” sings the song of a people who have the Savior in their midst, a Savior that is mistreated, a Savior who we would put to death because “We didn’t know who You were.” My favorite part is that the singer, presumably someone who identifies with the abused One, says “The world treats You mean Lord, treats me mean too. But that’s how things are down here”. Many of us may find ourselves in one of two perspectives in that song. We are either the ones recognizing the Light in this “Little Jesus Boy”, but are treated poorly too, or we are those insisting on our own power and position to rule, not rejecting the power available to others that is available to us.

When we deny the Light ability to shine in us, we deny the Light. Plain and simple. We can claim to be “Christians” but we will merely be whitewashed tombs. We can shout “Lord, Lord!” all we want but the truth will not be seen and we will not be known. However, for those who will receive the Light, allow it to shine bright, transforming us, when we believe “in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

There is an old story of some pots that were used for fetching water for a family in a village. One pot was cracked, and when taken to the river, it leaked badly enough that half of the water that it originally held would leak out by the time it was brought back home. The vessel cried out to its master, a young woman, encouraging her to leave him and take a better pot so that she would not waste her time losing precious water. The woman responded by asking the pot if it had noticed flowers that grew by the path on the way back to her home. The woman said that she had planted flowers on that side and because the pot leaked, every day, they received the water they needed to grow beautifully. If it were not for the imperfection allowing the water to escape, there would be no beauty in her home that would bring joy to the whole house, nor those who also walked that path.

Much like that pot, we also are broken creatures. We are not perfect bearers of the Light, but through the cracks, the Light is better able to shine and display a beauty that few would see if we were not flawed. We were not created to be broken and flawed, but we were given a new purpose when we came to accept the Perfect Light in our imperfect forms.  However, the Light is only able to shine through us if we receive it, or it is obvious when it is not in us. In this season of life, I encourage each person to look for the Light. It is not obvious, seemly, or always front and center. It comes in a form that we must look for, like a gift that is hidden because it is of great worth. Receive the Light that gives light to everyone who seeks it. Bear it to everyone who would benefit by its warmth and where it will shine into their darkest places to bring Life where they might only see death otherwise. Be the bearers of The Light to imperfect people knowing that Its perfection is shining through your own imperfections.

Is the Light in me?

Does the Light shine or do I hide it to do what I wish?

Is there anyone I know that needs the Light I possess to shine into their own darknesses?

Sweet little Jesus Boy
They made You be born in a manguh [manger]
Sweet little Holy chil’
Didn’t know who You wus [was]
Didn’t know You’d come to save us Lawd
To take our sins away

Our eyes wus bline [was blind]
We couldn’t see
We didn’t know who You wus [was]
Long time ago You wus bawn [was born]
Bawn in a manguh [manger] low

Sweet little Jesus Boy
De worl’ [the world] treat You mean, Lawd
Treat me mean too
But please, Suh, fuhgive [Sir, forgive] us Lawd
We didn’t know ’twas You

Sweet little Jesus Boy
Bawn [born] long time ago
Sweet little Holy chil’
An’ we didn’t know who You wus [was]

 

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