Sitting in the dark in the glow of our Christmas tree and the beautiful multicolored lights, I realized how much more beautiful it is in the dark, when all the small little lights pierced the darkness and together create such a picture of beauty. It gives me great comfort. I think of the great star on the night of Christ’s birth that pierced the darkness and gave cause to shepherds to rejoice that something wonderful and great had occurred. Sometimes, in the darkness of the season, (both figurative and literal) I have to remind myself to appreciate how the lights we share with each other can penetrate the darkness to see that something great and wonderful has occurred.
Jesus told a story about hiding one’s light beneath a bushel basket. He said we were the light of the world, like a city on a mountain that can not be hidden. He said that no one would light a lamp and hide it under a bushel basket, and challenged us to let our light shine before others, so that they may see how to glorify the father. Without the light each of us brings, the world stays in darkness and the darkness wins. The purpose of the season is to realize and embrace the power of the light Jesus brought into the world. His light shows up in many beautiful and colorful ways. He also admonishes any who try to snuff out that light.
This is the important message of the season. Light can defeat the darkness, and of all the ways the gospel teaches us how to be a resplendent light in the world, it says nothing about judging, defaming, and hating what someone else’s light looks like, even if it different. Jesus explains what he means in the parable of a man who sows seeds on different soils and what he means by it. The sower is the vehicle for distributing his words, the soils reflect the kind of person who receives it.
5 Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
But they have no root; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word,
but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit.
But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?
For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light.
Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the dark trying to figure out what my light is and I’ve begun to understand that my job is to simply become the best soil for the word and let go of what it is supposed to look like and let it shine, the rest will follow. I know my light alone is dependent on others who share their light to the world with me. All the metaphors Jesus uses about nurturing and bearing good fruit and being a shining light are the singular responsibility of the individual.My success is never dependent on anthers depletion. Those who try to crush or put out anyone’s’ light are truly the enemy. Fruit is fruit, and light is light.Our only job is to share what we have sown and grown and like a light shine it to the world. The unity of many small lights can defeat the darkness.