The Sources of Light in Our Lives
(Posted October 14, 2020)
"The thing about light is that it really isn't yours; it's what you gather and shine back. And it gets more power from reflectiveness; if you sit still and take it in, it fills your cup, and then you can give it off yourself." -Anne Lamott
With each passing day I notice how much earlier the sun pulls itself down beneath the horizon. Of course any scientist will tell you it’s not the sun’s action but that of our own earth as it tilts farther away from it, that produces the dying of the light. Either way this change is essential in driving the actions of creatures all around us. Squirrels and birds begin to gather in nuts and seeds. It turns out that the one thing that tells hummingbirds to pull up stakes and head to Central America is not the temperature, but the gathering darkness. Everything in God’s creation serves a purpose.
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Gathering Darkness: Jesus Versus the Pharisees
This Sunday’s gospel may sound at first as if it’s unrelated to this observation, but not really. At a point when Jesus has entered Jerusalem, he finds himself being grilled by the Pharisees. They truly are at this point the agents of gathering darkness, because their sole purpose is to entrap him and have him arrested. They ask: “Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?" But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax." And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, "Whose head is this, and whose title?" They answered, "The emperor's." Then he said to them, "Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's." Jesus reflects all the light of his wisdom about the greater kingdom of God to destroy their darkness and their supposed argument against him.
Gather Up Your Sources of Light
So it’s like this. In metaphor and reality, we live in the time of gathering darkness. There are plenty of people afoot in this world who would like to extinguish our light for their own power and purpose. Now is the time for us to gather in the sources of light in our lives. For you, it may be the love of people around you. It may be the consolation that prayer has given you. Or… it may be the light and wisdom and fellowship that this church has imparted to you, through gathering online all these months, and once again for some, worshipping in the Sanctuary. Either way, we hope the light that you have been given is being stored up in your heart for the days ahead.
Giving Light to the Community
And we also hope, whether your presence with us in fellowship is gained online or in person, that you will consider giving to First Church in the four weeks of Stewardship that start this Sunday. Giving “fills our cup” so that we in turn can pour it out to others in the community. It may be as simple as being a voice of compassion in the modern wilderness. It may be clothing for the homeless and those displaced by fire and tragedy. It may be the teaching of song and performance to children. It may be pastoral care to the bereaved. Whatever way our cup pours out into the community, YOU are the ones who fill it up.
Be our partners in this effort by using the “donate” button on our website, or by sending in a check. The darkness will not prevail as long as caring people reflect the Light of Christ.