Posts Tagged ‘Light’

San Bernadino

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Our hearts break for the loss of life in San Bernadino.  What for many of us feel like a tragic new “normal.”

Yesterday I spent working on Christmas.  On sermons and messages.  And one message, crystal clear, in the story…

The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned. (Isaiah)

Does this feel like a dark time?  Yesterday certainly did.

And that actually is the time Christ arrives.  Prophetically. In our hunger, in our emptiness, in our wondering, in our suffering.

We start this week lighting the Advent candles.  One a week for four weeks. Symbolizing Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. And we need to remember this … those 4 words were how Christians sought to capture the very essence of their faith. So significant that traditionally the first candle celebrated the beginning of the new liturgical/ religious year.

One candle. Of hope. In the midst of the darkest time of year.



Thursday, July 19th, 2012

There are many angles from which to thoughtfully consider the spiritual life.  One angle is the two meanings of “light.”

Christ does promise a “light” burden but it is a life’s work to get there!  Try separating someone (or ourselves) from our fears.  We all glom onto them with a white-knuckled intensity.  So there is work involved in securing that light load because it entails learning the art of subtraction. Importantly, it does not mean that faith is a matter of little weight or account.  Faith actually is “heavy” not in a depressive way but in terms of a certain fundamental gravitas, a ‘heft’ that begs us to take the spiritual seriously.

As we shoulder that weight, I think we start to open to the meaning of “light” – that faith is to be a light for ourselves and for others.

Yesterday I traveled with a group of secondary school students to Gettysburg. The theme was simple – “A bid to imagine possibility and sacrifice.”   We spoke to possibility through a tour of Gettysburg College.  We spoke to sacrifice through a tour of the battlefield and National Cemetery.

The capstone of the day came as we closed with a simple ending.  We gathered in the center of cemetery where Lincoln offered the Gettysburg address.  After hearing those words again, we spoke of the fundamental quality of sacrifice – how life comes down to a simple theme of “the little dash” – the hyphen between our date of birth and our date of passing – and what can give to that little space.  Letters were then passed out from family and friends for the students to read as they found a place to quietly hold life and their place in it.  Deeply moving watching as that blessed gravitas settled in.

Christ’s words from Matthew: “You are the light of the world.”