Spirit & Life

Only with the Light are shadows fully revealed

1 Thessalonians  5:1-11 (GNT)
There is no need to write you, friends, about the times and occasions when these things will happen. For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come as a thief comes at night. When people say, “Everything is quiet and safe,” then suddenly destruction will hit them! It will come as suddenly as the pains that come upon a woman in labour, and people will not escape. But you, friends, are not in the darkness, and the Day should not take you by surprise like a thief. 5All of you are people who belong to the light, who belong to the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, we should not be sleeping like the others; we should be awake and sober. It is at night when people sleep; it is at night when they get drunk. But we belong to the day, and we should be sober. We must wear faith and love as a breastplate, and our hope of salvation as a helmet. God did not choose us to suffer his anger, but to possess salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us in order that we might live together with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. And so encourage one another and help one another, just as you are now doing.

Reflection
Paul’s metaphors are as relevant and fresh today as they were to the Thessalonians. This year holds shadows of catastrophic disasters – in fires and storms; as species disappear forever; between neighbouring countries; from relentless political greed; where power gobbles that which is not its own; amid the silent stealth and aberration of pandemic; engraved in the faces of displaced, distraught victims of other’s cruelty; through the fragile cracking of ‘steadfast’ democracy – reality’s shadows have brought life-changing suffering and grief. Darkness has been unexpectedly birthed, with terrible pain. 
These realities have also had a shadowy approach. Persuasive pressure to conform turns our head, and we accept things as inevitable. Becoming complacent, or being focused on our own issues rather than looking to the communal, fogs our ‘sight’ and cover us with shadow. A darkness of inevitability leads to a lack of energy to address matters as they arise, where we are, whenever we can, in whatever way we are able.
God’s Light shines hope before us, offering clarity in how we can approach reality. Jesus’ voice speaks in these dark spaces, drawing us to the Light of God’s Way – being loving neighbours who live abundantly with right loving, right being, right thinking and right living, as the whole family of God. Our faith enables us together to live with a compassionate, inclusive and responsive love. It illuminates a way of attending to the now and seeing a light of hope in the days to come. It is how we approach darkness that shows the calibre of our willingness to live out our faith and values. Only with the Light are shadows fully revealed.                                                                                                                                                                

Rev Anne Hewitt

Prayer – A Morning Collect
Light of lights,
Shine in this day
So that we see reality clearly.
The shadows fall over us,
And we lose your light of hope.

Light of lights,
Shine in our love this day
So that we hear the cries of injustice and loneliness.
Inconsequent noise diverts us,
And muffles what we perceive as important.

Light of lights,
Shine in our being this day
So that we remain in peace.
Persuasive anxiety pulls us into our shadow
And draws us towards the dark night of our soul.

Light of lights,
Shine in our thinking
So that we are mindful of what is before us
And discern with intelligent, effective and appropriate clarity.
 
Light of lights,
Shine in our living
So that every moment we walk in your Way,
act with humble kindness, compassion, honesty and justice,
experiencing life in all its fullness.
 
Light of lights, shine before us,
drawing us through darkness
so that we see your Light in its midst. Amen

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eo@churchestogethersa.org.au
0475 016 789

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