There are infrequent times when our readings seem to align with each other. Today is one of those days where there is a commonality among these disparate books of our Holy Scripture: a thread that I want to follow.
We are reading Job and are in the midst of the back and forth between Job and his visitors. We have another three weeks, or so, of jumping our way through this Book. Today Job is asking to be left alone, to be allowed to die, to go to a place of "deep darkness" as he feels that God has abandoned him for an unknown and unexplainable reason. Job is remembering back to a brighter time in his life where he was successful, with a family and loved ones surrounding him: a time that Job is thinking about as light-filled.
In Acts today, we have the end of the story of Peter going to Joppa with Gentiles and then accepting them as part of this burgeoning Christian community growing up all around him. The folks in Jerusalem are unhappy with Peter until Peter explains his thrice seen vision of the blanket and the visit to Joppa of an angel from God. And Peter says "If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?" Peter's eyes are opened to a broader understanding of God's loving embrace.
In the Gospel from John, Jesus today says "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." After-which Jesus is, yet again, rejected by the Pharisees.
This imagery of darkness and light, seeing and unseeing, being exclusive and inclusive, surround these readings. This light that we are a part of as the Body of Christ in the world can dispel the darkest moments we have to live through. I am not saying this is an easy thing to accomplish, or will completely dispel those difficult times we all encounter. But knowing that this light is a part of our lives, having this firm belief, can help us through those dark times we each have in life, and allow us to not only remember the light but walk into it and embrace it.
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.