For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. -Ephesians 5:8-10
Recently, I have found that church is becoming more and more exhausting. I’ve been more involved with the “bureaucratic” side of the church recently than I have with the worship side, and I’m afraid it is beginning to take its toll. I see the duplicity of Christians not as evidence of much needed grace and mercy, but as evidence of why Christianity has such a bad reputation. Used to, all I would have to do to be put in a worshipful mood is play some Christian music in my car and praise God in my own unique way, mostly with some singing and the occasional car dance, but I find it isn’t working. Sunday morning worship now seems more like an unwelcome interruption to much needed sleep, than a time to spend with God and with fellow Christians.
I’ve read that if the conditions are perfect, the human eye is capable of seeing the flickering light of a candle from 30 miles away. Friends, I feel as though my light is as faint as that light would be.
However, I take solace in the fact that I still have a light, it just needs to be nurtured by God, by myself, and by others to go back to where it once was. Last night I started reading Chasing Francis, a novel by Ian Morgan Cron, an Episcopal priest. In the book, a pastor begins to step away from his faith and decides to take a pilgrimage to Italy to retrace the steps St. Francis took hundreds of years before. In the novel, the pastor begins to strip away all he thought he knew about faith, and instead sits in the wonder and awe that is God. He begins to live as a child of the light.
We can all live as children of the light, in fact, as the scripture from Ephesians states, we are commanded to live as children of the light. Children do not get muddied by theological debates, they get muddied by the wonderful creation of God. To live as a child of the light is to view God not through the naive lens of a child, one who sees God as magical fit-it person, but to see God for who God is, one who embodies all grace and love.
It’s constantly a struggle to see God for who God is in a world where grace and love are all too rarely seen, and if they are seen, they come with terms and conditions. But being a child of the light means that where light is absent, we are to shine in the darkness.
Is it hard? Yes, just ask Jesus, but it is in the midst of Lent that we are reminded that though the road may be hard, light wins in the end. Death loses. Love wins.
God of grace and God of love, please make us children of the light. God, we want to walk as children of the light. Amen.