From The Bridge, Feb. 2020
By Rev. Julie Sterling
This month our focus with shift from the themes of light to darkness. At this moment we are midway through the season of Epiphany. What started as an announcement of Christ’s birth witnessed by the Wise Men has now shifted to the early stages of Christ’s ministry. We have witnessed his Baptism and call as well as his calling of the first disciples. For Isaiah foretells of the light of Christ as a prophesy to inspire he nations. In Isaiah 49:6b we are told “ I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
The theme of light and darkness will be used often throughout this time of year. In the first chapter of John, we are told that Jesus is the light of the world: 4 What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.
In the Bible light is used to express the concept of goodness or purity while darkness is seen as the reverse. As our month progresses our thoughts will shift from light and hope to sin, humanity, and repentance.
The season of Epiphany is a reminder that Christ’s light is with us, even as the excitement of Christmas has been boxed up for another year. As we hear the story of Jesus early ministry we are reminded of who the Christ child has grown to be and while also preparing for his Lenten journey to the cross. During uncertain times it is good to know that still Christ’s light shines brightly. Also, as we start our Lenten Journey on Ash Wednesday with the imposition of ashes, it is good to have the light of Christ to illumine our path. For as we hear the words of Genesis 3:19 “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” we reflect on our own humanity, and Christ’s light reminds us of a new life with him.
Brothers and sisters, remember that we are called by God to be a light to those in darkness. As we prepare ourselves for the Lenten Season, remember shine your faith for others to witness the presence of Jesus in your life. The world needs all the light it can get. Your light and love can mend this sinful and broken world.
Rev. Julie Sterling