Thursday, March 26, 2009

God of Light, God of Darkness



A Lenten Homily

John 3:14-21

As a university student, I used to plant trees in Northern Ontario as a summer job.  It was hard work, rising early, planting as much as you could in the daylight and resting during the night. On occasion, on really, really nice days, when the morning planting had been going well, one of my favorite things to do would be, after my lunch break, to stretch out under a large tree and take a well earned nap.  I would lie there in the darkness of a deep sleep, on a bed of moss, or of dry earth with a warm summer breeze blowing over me, until I would wake up to the light of the midday sun shining down on me through the cracks in the canopy of maple or oak or birch leaves that occupied the space between the light of the sun and my eyes.  

I still recall those moments in vivid memory—those moments of waking, of blinking at the invading light, adjusting to being awake again, getting my bearings, taking stock of what the rest of the day held in store as I lay on the forest floor—in those moments, coming into the light was beautiful and sublime.

Of course, at other times in my life—like when my mom would throw open the curtains on a Monday morning at 7 am to rush me out of bed so that I would make it to school on time—coming into the light, being awakened by the brightness of the morning was a less than beautiful event…it was downright maddening for a teenager—in fact, it’s still downright maddening for a grown man, but that’s just between you and me. 

You see, coming into the light can be, at times beautiful and, at other times, maddening—and sometimes, coming into the light, at its most intense, can be both at once.  Think about the birth of a child.  This beautiful act of coming into the light of the world is accompanied by pain, stress, crying, and maybe the occasional freak out by the attending husband (again, this is just between you and me)—you see, it’s madness and beauty all wrapped up together. 

The light that invades and displaces the darkness is the light of God; in fact, here in John’s gospel light is another way of speaking about the life of God himself, who in Jesus assaults the darkness of the world.  The shining of this light is itself both beauty and agony, which is something the season of Lent asks us to remember as we approach Good Friday where we learn that the beauty of God is all tied up in the agony and madness of the cross of Jesus.

Being drawn into this light is both maddening and beautiful.  This light of God, this light that Jesus shines into our world displaces and dispels our darkness—which is beautiful in itself.  But it’s maddening because, as Jesus says, we love the dark—and not just the darkness of a good sleep.

This passage in John comes on the heels of Nicodemus’ coming to Jesus to question him.  He comes to Jesus, in the darkness of night.  "Night" is, in the gospel of John always more than the darkness of night. It’s ignorance; it's sight, but it's an obscured sight; it’s confusion.  It's odd to find Nicodemus here "by night". You see, Nicodemus is one who knows. He's a “leader” in the religious establishment, a smart person, a learned person, a church person, if you will.  Nicodemus is us, those of us “on the inside track”—but he’s still in the dark.

We, as people, love the dark because it’s there that we feel safe, don’t we?; we feel safe because it’s only in the dark that we feel as if our secrets won’t betray us as they would if we found ourselves in the brightness of the light.  In the light we can’t help but be exposed and that’s maddening because we don’t trust each other with our secrets, let alone do we trust God.  We feel as if coming into the light might somehow expose us as in some way less than loveable by God and by each other—and that makes us anxious and fearful.  Anyone who’s kept a secret, anyone who’s harbored a lie deep down within themselves knows this fear—and that’s to say we all know this fear.  Not only fear, but this madness can easily slip into hatred of each other because it’s easier to hate each other than to live truthfully with each other.

But learning to blink at this light, as I like to think Nicodemus did when we find him later in the Gospel of John preparing Jesus' body for burial is what salvation is all about.  Learning to slowly allow the light of God’s love to illumine our lives, darkness and all, learning to see the light of God’s love through the cracks in our lives is another way of speaking about conversion.  Not many people experience the blinding light of God’s love like Paul did on the road to Damascus—though its been known to happen.  No, for most of us, recognizing God’s light in our lives is a slow process; it’s a slow opening of the eyes, like after a deep and heavy sleep; the darkness doesn’t just vanish but as we learn to see in God’s light, as our eyes adjust to what life looks like, or ought to look like on God’s terms, we’ll notice that the darkness of our lives cannot help but be slowly exposed—and that that’s ok.  We ought to be a community that trusts God and each other with our darkness, with our secrets.  We are called as the church to learn to be a community that knows trust and love as living alternatives to fear and hatred. 

Coming to the Lord’s table—being a eucharistic community—means that we commit ourselves, weekly, to a way of life where, whether we like it or not, we are implicated in living in the light.  If I were honest with you, some weeks I’d rather hide in the darkness than to be implicated in this exposure…but again, this is just between you and me.  Regardless of our proclivity for the absence of this light, the beauty of all of this is that God does love us and that God does transform us, in spite of ourselves, from lovers of the darkness to lovers of the light, from lovers of clandestine fear to lovers of the truth, the truth about ourselves, about God and about each other, no matter how maddening we might find that to be.

Let us pray. 

Relentless God, you pursue us with your light; you invade our darkness with the maddening light of your Son Jesus.  We’d rather live in the darkness and, if we were honest with ourselves, we’d rather you leave us alone.  But you don’t.  You pursue us, and you catch us; you catch us up in your love.  And when we get past our compulsive desire to be alone—to be in the dark—we find ourselves in this community, implicated in your way of life as your eucharistic people.  Prepare us again this morning to walk in your light and may we live that light into the darkness of our world. Thanks be to God.  Amen.

42 comments:

Elle said...

thank you i read this for me and hopfully to the spirits to cross over when JESUS OUR SAVOUIR walks again on this earth

Phil Aud said...

Patrick,

This post was so beautiful. You're a great writer my friend. I look forward to reading more on your blog. Would love to hear from you sometime:
phil_aud@mac.com

miladawley said...

視訊ukisssex520ol制服美女影片情色遊戲亂倫無碼貼片美臀寫真色情光碟正妹星球美腿圖18禁 遊戲凌辱人妻溫泉卡通無碼ut男同志正妹愛打炮3a情色色情小?美腿絲襪a片線上雄貓貼圖找援交妹天天看女優383成人影城亂倫色情小說777 女人貼圖區台中寫真棉花田本土美女寫真影片免費觀賞無碼光碟免費交友go性行為影片美女性愛色情無碼月宮圖貼anego熟女真命苦080aa片007 貼圖區線上av天下淫書成人a片自拍網站偷窺自拍裸體影片無碼a胖妹變辣妹a片天使男男貼圖dreamweaver原住民聊天室貼圖片區5278

SEXY said...

GREAT........................................

第一回合 said...

幸福是人人都要,又怎麼可能都歸你所有?要知道這世界幸福本來就不多........................................

餐廳 said...

辛苦了!祝你愈來愈好!........................................

無尾熊可愛 said...

I do like ur article~!!! ........................................

孟倫艾任 said...

^^ 謝謝你的分享,祝你生活永遠多彩多姿!........................................

哲云 said...

你的部落格很棒,我期待更新喔........................................

A22laynaGainer1104 said...

我從來不認為不同意我的看法就是冒犯..................................................

嘉偉 said...

Cool blog網愛聊天室色情網站交友找啦咧免費影片成人笑話成人圖庫sexy女同志聊天室愛戀情人用品情趣爽翻天咆哮小老鼠入口85cc6k脫衣人妻sexy85c脫光光taiwansex淫女情色成人男女做愛美女做愛脫衣秀a片正妹淫蕩色情後宮040185c85c77p2p77p2p性幻想手淫18禁

仰士 said...

成人色情圖片激情聊天室火辣美眉520sex赤裸美女成人自拍貼圖18限性影片觀賞av色情影音聊天手淫激情成人聊天室成人色情圖片網sex520自拍走光照片淫慾18禁成人影音聊天美女台灣性網限制級女生手淫成人聊天春宮裙底風光情趣丁字褲極度震撼情色論壇露點成人視訊聊天avlive show愛愛明星露點台灣色情網站自慰少婦成人聊天網美女視訊成人頻道人妻熟女蕩婦一對多激情成人色情聊天室av成人上空秀巨奶視訊網愛聊天室一夜正妹色情貼片一對多免費美女視訊粉紅乳頭作愛影片美女聊天sexy成人色情圖片網女人胸部圖片視訊色情情色網站性關係辣妹聊天室大奶子

香廷 said...

請繼續發表好文!加油加油加油!........................................

韋于倫成 said...

Practice makes perfect.......................................................

竹青 said...

成人電影線上看 ut男視訊 聊天事ut 免費a觀看 絲襪同志交友 av女優性交影影片 性感褲襪美女寫真 免費影片網 色情自拍偷拍 愛的聊天室 女女愛愛 av情趣用品 18卡通漫畫 少女自拍網 熊貓影城 a片圖 情色卡漫 a色情影片 一夜情 383 完美情人視訊網站 玩美女人 免費影片 正妹辣妹 人妻遊戲 熟女 免費視訊 視訊聊天室 a圖片a 視訊聊天 85cc 微風成人交友區 嘟嘟 777 小魔女自拍貼圖 台灣援交妹 情人視訊 辣妹脫衣 av影片 洪爺影城 大奶熟女 sexy情色 a片 巨乳 性愛情慾貼圖 後宮電影院 jack 限制級 色情電話0204 激情性愛 明星走光

呈均 said...

噴泉的高度,不會超過它的源頭。一個人的事業也是如此,它的成就絕不會超過自己的信念。..................................................

07_TeddyF_Silvey0 said...

人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。...........................................................................

kittycha said...

go2av免費影片sex 0401 影音 live 秀視訊聊天交友 色美眉台中援交aa 片試看 a免費視訊聊天網 情人34C波霸美女 香蕉鮑魚俱樂部,免費av 免費線上 aa 片試看 g點無碼a片 性愛姿勢 辣妹sex story 視訊聊天室 sex888免費看影片波霸美女寫真 視訊美女pixnet 成人交友hibb 4u成人視訊 情人080視訊網 私密論壇sex888免費看影片論壇 Show-live視訊聊天室 辣妹貼圖a片天堂 a片免費看 情色視訊禁地論壇 日本 a 片,無碼影片,美女,sexy,a片天堂 小魔女免費影城 視訊美女sogo 色論壇 s38live秀 卡通aa片免費看自拍天堂 洪爺免費線上歐美A片段觀看 亞洲東洋影片 0941 影音視訊聊天室 18成人85cc影城0204movie 成人漫畫區月光論壇 a片-情色成人影片 免費視訊toolbox 707網愛聊天室 1111辣妹貼圖,寫真集辣妹 av無碼月光論壇辣妹視訊 視訊辣妹主播脫衣秀 aio性愛dvd辣妹影片直播 黑澀會美眉 mv 高雄視訊,qq 美女貼圖片區 5i176 免費視訊秀 168論壇視訊辣妹 a片天堂s383視訊 bt電影下載,aa 片 sexy girl video movie 080cc成人色網 後官0951主入口 視訊聊天評比 視訊交友聊天室 no8 sogo論壇視訊辣妹

玫友 said...

要保持更新呦,加油!!!期待你的新文章!!!.................................................................

俊偉 said...

這麼好的部落格,以後看不到怎麼辦啊!!......................................................................

王婷珊 said...

人不能像動物一樣活著,而應該追求知識和美德.................................................................                           

峻帆峻帆峻帆 said...

希望能常常看到你的更新.................................................................                           

婷珊 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

李豪湖仁陳堅豪 said...

走過路過~不能錯過~哈哈............................................................

金正偉 said...

支持你就對了!..................................................................

said...

如果你批評他人。你就沒有時間付出愛............................................................

文郭ss華賴ss添卉顏俊s任 said...

來幫你衝一下人氣,幫你推推推..................................................................

婉婷 said...

Offence is the best defence...................................................

溫緯李娟王季 said...

凡事三思而行,跑得太快是會滑倒的。..................................................

陳璇竹陳璇竹 said...

Poverty is stranger to industry.............................................................

佳瑩佳瑩 said...

很棒,令人期待............................................................

童祖如童祖如 said...

Very good stories~~ Thanks for ur sharing~~!!............................................................

家唐銘 said...

格主的部落格內容真豐富~~看得很開心............................................................

家唐銘 said...

不論做什麼事,相信自己,別讓別人的一句話,把你擊倒。..................................................

家唐銘 said...

良言一句三冬暖,惡語傷人六月寒。......................................................................

浩子 said...

Judge not a book by its cover.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

偉曹琬 said...

Subtlety is better than force. ......................................................................

蕾蕾 said...

文章雖然普通,但意義卻很大~~^^~~ ..................................................

惠邱邱邱邱雯 said...

愛情不是慈善事業,不能隨便施捨。......................................................................

佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...

教育的目的,不在應該思考什麼,而是教吾人怎樣思考......................................................................

方峻君 said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債..................................................................

鲁涵淞 said...

看到大家都留言-我也忍不住說聲---加油..................................................