27“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say — ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. 34The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. 36While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.” After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.
Light and darkness. Illumination and shadows. Clarity and confusion. Our world sends us mixed messages about what is light and what is darkness. Our sin clouds our judgement and we believe that a shadow disguised as a lamp can somehow show us the way, any way . . . to peace. Jesus Christ took on all darkness so that we could know light and be surrounded by it always. The Light of the World surrendered to hurt and bitterness, evil and destruction. On His way to the cross, Jesus told his disciples to remain with Him so that they would know the way. In the beginning of John’s Gospel we are reminded that darkness cannot overcome the light. No matter what happens—even death on the cross, even descent into hell—the Light will always crowd out the shadows of sin and evil.
In this Lenten season, we are intensely aware of the encroaching darkness in our world. How easily we start to feel defeated. As we wait for our Savior and as we long for wholeness and peace, let us seek the Light of the World and let us be lights to those around us by proclaiming His hope, peace, love, and joy for all to hear.
Lord, please shine your light upon us today, and with your light strengthen us to be people of light, to shed fear of the darkness, and to stand with confidence upon your promises. We need your comfort and your assurance. Guide us in the way we ought to go, and light our path. Amen.
— The Rev. Alyssa Bell
2011 Associate Co-pastor, Shadle Park and Community Presbyterian Churches, Spokane, Washington