March 22, 2020
Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41
One of the greatest movie sagas of all time began in 1977. The same year that I was born.
Coincidence? I think not! All around, 1977 was a pretty awesome year!
Star Wars has set a course through the universe for generations. It has brought families together as each new film arrives, making us wonder what turn the saga will take next. It has also introduced us to the likes of Yoda and Darth Vader. The power of the force versus the power of the dark side! Throughout the saga we experience a battle between the dark side and the power of the force or the light which has been led through the likes of Luke Skywalker. Perhaps in this time of prolonged social distancing and isolation, a revisit or even first time visit to the Star Wars universe can shine a bit of hope and light on this time of darkness that we find ourselves.
It is kind of ironic that we find ourselves in this pandemic during the season of Lent. Lent is a time that we find ourselves being intentional to slow down, fast, and enter more deliberately into prayer. While we talk about fasting, I am pretty sure this is not what we had in mind when it came to fasting from something for Lent. To fast from being with one another in person is difficult, surreal, and can even be depressing as we are secluded from the life we are familiar living among family and friends. It is even more so now in this time of Lent, that we can find ourselves in a darkness in which we are not sure when it is going to end. For many of us, our entire routines have been uprooted and we are left to wander the desert looking for something or someone to break bread with and quench our thirst. Sometimes we turn to those things that are not the healthiest for us and distracts us from our true calling in God. These are the things that are found in the darkness.
The letter to the Ephesians confronts some of the same things that we experience today and view in our movies. Jesus came into the world to make God’s love known to all. He came in a time when there was bickering among the people of God and they had truly lost sight of what it meant to live out God’s calling in the world. If we look back a few verses in Ephesians before our assigned reading this morning, the author writes, “1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2 and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2) The light that we continue to hear about is rooted in that very love of God that came down to earth and walked with us as Jesus Christ.
As you listened to the gospel this morning, you may have sensed the struggle of light and darkness. The story of the man born blind shows the power of the light of Christ that illuminates and gives vision to those that were once in the darkness. Jesus brings healing to the man born blind and what was once cast in shadows and darkness now shone brightly in the light of Christ.
It would be later that the author of Ephesisan would write to the community and make sure that they had the same opportunity to live in and experience the light of Christ that shone brightly for the man born blind the day that Jesus instructed him to go to the Pool of Siloam.
Where do we find grace today as we seem to be living in a darkness that reveals itself in the uncertainty of when we will meet again? The light comes from those that are willing to step out and help where needed, delivering groceries, toilet paper, or simply calling on the telephone to say hello. The darkness that we find ourselves in has provided us a new opportunity for Jesus to transform our way of being and shine the light of Christ in new and amazing ways. We are washed anew in the light of Christ and are reminded so in the conclusion to Ephesians this morning, “Everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
May you be transformed by that very light of Christ in the days and weeks ahead as you witness God working in new and miraculous ways.
Let us pray. Transforming God, you shine a light into the shadows and darkness of our lives. May we be forever reminded of your love that was sent to us through Jesus Christ. Amen.