Genesis 3: 8 – 15
Psalm 24, 29
John 3: 16 – 21
Today’s texts for Morning Prayer offer larger-than-life archetypal images depicting the struggle between good and evil, light and darkness. These texts are not to be taken literally, of course. But they remind us that Christmas is our celebration of God’s light born into the world.
God is the light inside of everything. We, too, in all of our littleness and ordinariness, are God’s light in the world. We, too, are called to shine our light into broken places.
My daughter Ellen, for instance, was a tiny woman who had a severe developmental disability. She was a silent person who was aware of everything going on around her. Though quite little, Ellen took up a lot of space. She was small but shone a strong light.
I remember going with Ellen and her L’Arche assistants to an appointment with her neurologist. First, we were interviewed by a resident physician who hadn’t met Ellen before. He was tense and stiff, asking us questions about her as though she wasn’t in the room and nervously avoiding eye contact with her. Meanwhile, Ellen stood directly across the room from him, silently watching, taking in his anxiety. Then she began to walk towards him, and the resident blurted out anxiously, “What does she want? What is she going to do?” I said, “She wants to kiss your hand.” And, with a chuckle, she did just that. The resident relaxed.
Usually, it is the doctor who is called to ease the fears of the patient. But we can all, in our ordinariness and in our littleness, shine a light that casts out fear.