Wednesday, April 8, 2009
The Light Advantage
John 12:27-36 NASB
“Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour. “Father, glorify Your name " Then a voice came out of heaven: "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, "An angel has spoken to Him." Jesus answered and said, "This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes.” Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die. The crowd then answered Him, "We have heard out of the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this Son of Man?" So Jesus said to them, "For a little while longer the Light is among you Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. "While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light " These things Jesus spoke, and He went away and hid Himself from them.”
His ministry was powerful, succinct and filled with teaching moments. There had been miracles, great and small, prophetic announcements, sermons and small group meetings with the hand-chosen. Yet, in the hours before Jesus went into hiding many still did not understand the purpose of his coming nor the fact that it was for our sake that his life was to be sacrificed. How could they not understand?
Maybe it was his entrance on a simple donkey instead of one more befitting a Messiah that confused them? Or the fact that he spoke in parables of warning and even had his life purpose confirmed by The Father that perplexed them? Whatever the case they failed to understand, continued to question and essentially missed the point because the were trying to reduce Jesus into their perception of a Messiah instead of reaching out to grasp The Light Advantage that he offered them.
The Light Advantage is the revelatory truth that the life of Jesus was sacrificed for our sake…on purpose to lead us to God. The Light Advantage says that we will trust and obey God regardless of our limited understanding. It requires us to be in relationship with Him so that we are able to follow His Word and recognize His voice even when the darkness seeks to overtake us. The Light Advantage compels us to lift Him up so that others may be drawn to Him. The Light Advantage mandates us to come out from the shadows and move into the brightness that is there to illuminate our way.
Sadly, we seem to suffer from this same “ism”. To walk in the light requires that we move outside our comfort zone of darkness, the place where we have made ourselves content in our dysfunction, and step into a realm where we are required to DO something instead of just BE. For me, the darkness is a place where I can crouch and hide behind my indecision, inaction, or silence and wallow in the doubts I have in my gifts or myself. Without light, I can stay in the shadows not growing in the anointing God deposited in me because I refuse to move into a place of accountability where I can be used.
I have decided that I am tired of making myself invisible or feeling as if others have more of a right to the lighted path than I do. This Lenten season, I have decided to fully embrace The Light Advantage. Just as Jesus instructed those gathered to “Walk while you have The Light”, we are called to do likewise. It is time to stop dipping in and out of the shadows when things get a little tougher than we expect or even worse let’s not step back into the shade and sit there comfortably waiting in silence when we are called to do so much more.
Prayer: Lord, let me fully embrace the advantage that Your Light provides for me so that I can call others to do the same. Amen.
Rev. Carmen Avery Walker
Youth Pastor - Mt. Carmel AME Church