Pathways through Lent

And Then There was Light

Psalm 95 Exodus 2:1–22 1 Corinthians 12:27–13:3 Mark 9:2–13

A Quaker friend often signs off her emails with the phrase Stay in the light.

The Quakers believe that the light of Jesus has passed into every soul, where it encourages fraternity and brings the means of salvation to everyone. But the Quakers aren’t unique in their emphasis on the inner light; before the advent of artificial lighting, seasonal and daily rhythms of external light profoundly influenced customs, rituals, and inward spiritual practices in diverse peoples.

In this secular 21st century, how do we experience the inner light? And perhaps more importantly, how do we respond to it?

Some may experience it in the majesty of a soaring cathedral, perhaps in light filtering through a stained glass window such as those at St. John’s. Others are most moved by the magnificence of a blue sky tinged with rose at sunrise. Still others—and I am among them—most acutely sense this light through interaction with those around us.

The Quakers believe that human beings can freely elect to either welcome or reject the light. Jesus still offers us that option today. We can choose to ignore it, reject it, savor it, revel in it, and act or react in myriad ways. We can opt to either expand or extinguish the light.

So, this Lenten season, these days of lengthening light offer us the opportunity to reflect on how we can most faithfully express the light of Jesus’ love and ministry, for He has no hands but ours.

Stay in the light!

–Betty M. van Iersel


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