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Windows into the Light by Michael Sullivan

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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Tuesday, April 7

And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in me, believes not in me, but in Him who sent me. And he who sees me sees Him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”
—John 12: 44-46

One evening, a few weeks ago, something unexpected happened. My family was engaged in our usual weeknight routine—the children were working on homework, I was still reading the Sunday Times, and my wife was preparing lesson plans. It was a fairly normal night, except for a little bit of ice forming on the trees. Then without warning, the lights flickered, and within seconds all went dark.

There was no moon, so the darkness was deep and intense. One of the children let forth a small scream, and we assured the other that all would be well. I stood up, walked toward the kitchen, bumping into walls along the way, and found the drawer with the flashlight. Dead batteries, of course.

Fumbling through other drawers, I finally found a small flashlight and some matches and a candle. Within three or four minutes, several candles illumined the den, and making the most of it, we returned to an 18th century version of family life. I continued to read the paper, my wife finished her lesson plan and the children completed their homework. With the electricity still off, we played a game before going to bed.

At first, the darkness was consuming; not having electricity seemed like a burden. But as each moment passed, the treasure of candlelight became greater. A night without electricity became a night of light and not darkness. Our souls were awakened by the joy of spending time with each other.

Jesus comes as light into the world so that whoever believes may not remain in the darkness. We assume that Jesus comes as a bright light, a magnificent burst of energy before our eyes. But the older I get, the more I believe that Jesus comes like the single candle on a night without electricity.

Jesus comes reminding us that in the greatest of darkness, even the smallest of lights is bright. Jesus comes with us, and illumining our past, delivers us into a present that is full of the grace of God. It is in that place we discover that Jesus reveals the fullness of God’s promise and life becomes what God intended.

God in the midst of my life you bring your light through Christ. In this week that seems so very dark, when we walk towards your cross and the tomb, help me to see your light, looking for that single candle that will emerge in the darkness of Easter morn and illumine all my days. Amen.