Servant’s Heart — From the Desk of a Deacon
What did Jesus mean by the statement: “I am the light of the world”? What do we mean when we say this? Is there even light in this troubled world?
Light is the symbol of goodness, godliness and all that is good. Light keeps us safe; it feeds us; we cannot live without it. This is opposed to darkness, the symbol of evil and all that is wrong in the world.
Darkness keeps us from knowing the truth. It stops us from seeing the evil in the world and the evil in us.
Jesus is the light of the world. We are told this many times and in many ways. Jesus claims this for himself, and others have claimed it for him.
In this statement, Jesus is claiming the goodness of the “creating light.” Jesus is the guiding light. He lights the way for us to follow. Jesus shines the light for us, so that we can see the evil and deal with it.
This evil is not only in the other, but also in us. Jesus challenges us to be the light for ourselves and for others.
How do we do this? This is the true struggle that we have.
It is easy to be the light for nice people, the people we meet in Church or our family and friends.
But how do we become the light for drug addicts, homeless people, street people, the ones that smell bad, have challenging or scary behaviors, or the mentally ill that have challenging behaviours?
How do we deal with warfare, famine, refugees? The ugliness that we prefer not to think about. How do we become their light?
How do we become the light when everything seems to be against us? When our natural world seems to be fighting us with, storms that cause death and destruction, with earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, climate change with viruses that seem to come from nowhere?
We have to work hard. We were never promised that it would be easy.
Jesus never shied away from the hard work of doing what is right. He did this even when it was not the popular thing, the easy thing. He overturned the money changers’ tables; and it is time we did the same.
We need to stand up to leaders that make warfare a way to solve “problems,” that make poverty and homelessness a side effect of civilization, that call drug addiction an illness, but offer no solutions to the situation. We need to let leaders know that climate change is real and that solutions must be found before we make earth uninhabitable.
We must be part of the change, we must be the solution, we must be “the light of the world.”