“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Reference: John 8:12 )
Maeyken Boosers wrote to her children in 1564 “The Lord grant that that light shine also around you, and that you walk in it, Amen.” That sounds a lot like something I would have written. And who knows if I have not written something like that already.
Two questions occur to me, and I do not think they are new questions. 1) How does one walk in the light? 2)And how does one know what the “light” looks like so that one may walk in it? The first question is easy to answer really – walking in the light means doing as Christ did, and measuring the example of Christ and following the guidance, direction, and wisdom of God. And you may think it is a fair answer to my second question. But the second question pertains more to a person’s individual judgment, discernment, or understanding (or other such words and terms).
It is no secret that Christianity today is more divided as to how it is applied – socially, politically etc. More precisely, how Christianity is regulates and directs how Christians are to react and interact with other people and situations. And much more precisely – gays/lesbians, people of color other than Caucasian while, gun owners/users, and a plethora of other people and issues. And somehow the example that Christ set becomes blurry.
When I was young, things (and I use that term casting a wide net for my life at that age) were easy and clear. Firm lines drawn and defined expectations. As I grew older life became more complex, but the expectations and definitions easily understood. Then I hit adulthood, life became both complicated and complex. What I had learned in my childhood and youth I tried to pass on to my children, but I was not as sure of the absolutes. But the foundation remained firm and I rested in that.
Then my spiritual roots grew deeper, and I reached below the foundations of my childhood religious teachings and found nurture in God’s Spirit. And I learned what it meant to truly walk in the light and know what the light looked like. I recently re-read an old journal from almost 10 years ago. And I can see where since then my roots have grown more firmer in the Lord.
But I look around me and I see a . . . shade of Christianity that I have not seen or known before. As if this Christianity has grown more to darkness than light – or at least it seems to me. It is interesting that as I have grown more rooted in my own faith and spirituality, I seem to be less rooted in one predominant organized faith system. I do not think I am alone.
I echo Boosers’ sentiments beloved – May the Lord grant that that the Divine’s light shine on you and around you, illuminating the way you should go. And may you walk in that light. Selah!
Postscript – I used the image of flashlight both because it is more modern than a lamp, and you can flick it off or run the batteries out, leaving yourself in the dark.