From light to joy

January 23, 2014

Reblogged from: Searchingforthinplaces

If you are not paying close attention you will imagine that the upcoming week’s lectionary texts are about the same as last weeks, the focus on light. And while there is light in the text, the move is the joy generated when the light turns itself toward the world. The Old Testament text from Isaiah should sound familiar, we used it during Advent. Then it was to proclaim the birth of the Messiah, and now it is used to reveal the impact that the Messiah has on us. Funny how one text can have different implications when read over only a few weeks later? And the reading from the Psalm starts with light, but this isn’t a light to stand and glory in. No, it is a light that illuminates and calls us to move out, using the brilliance of that light as a guide, not merely a glory.

The New Testament and Gospel readings further this theme of light to joy, but in slightly different ways. In the reading from 1 Corinthians Paul is seeking to restore the joy from the light between divisive elements. The Christians in Corinth were walking in the light but away from JOY. Arguments and disagreements had arisen about which “version” (let’s even call them denominations) of Christianity where the best one. This was stealing their joy and diminishing their light. Look at the JOY in the Gospel text; Jesus is calling men away from their comfortable careers, their known into the unknown and they go. Joyfully. No questions asked.

We need to examine what in our lives is diminishing our light and stealing our Joy. When the light of Christ that is to shine through us becomes cloudy and dim or even inwardly focused, others can’t see by it. When our light doesn’t shine then our opportunities for joy decrease and fade. The thin place is when we realize that Jesus’ light shining from within us to the world, increases our inner light and joy.