I heard a sermon recently on the passage in Matthew concerning The Holy Innocents: those children two years and younger who were killed by Herod because of his fear of the King of Jews having been born. The sermon was an interesting reflection on darkness and evil in the world, the preacher saying the reason for their existence being inexplicable but ever-present, yet he was there to testify to the light that shines in that ever-present darkness. That light, of course, being Jesus. Perhaps a bit of a dark sermon in the Season of Christmas.
I thought of that sermon today as I read our lectionary selection from the Gospel of John, where Jesus heals the individual who was blind from birth. Jesus heals him and then the man is questioned (tried really), his parents are questioned (also tried - the part that is omitted from our reading) and then the newly sighted man is cast out. Jesus finds him and the man worships Jesus. There is a cost to this gift Jesus gives this formerly blind man.
I must confess to wanting to be poly-anna at times - wanting to think the best about people's intentions, seeing only the good in the world. Today's reading from John (and the sermon on The Holy Innocents) are an appropriate reminder of the need to recognize there is the other side of the coin to take into account. Not to dwell in that darkness or be consumed by people's wrongful intentions, but to balance the joy of Christ's gifts to us with the knowledge that there will always be more work to do. Always.
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.