One of my favorite songs is "Amazing Grace". The lyrics really speak to my heart. Newton embraced his own brokenness and crafted an image that many of us can relate to in our lives: The image of a blind man being set free by God. Whatever that blindness may be in your life, he reminds us that the only way that any of us are going to make it through is by the Grace of God.
He is right.
As I looked at this Sunday's readings, they share two very distinct ideas. Light and darkness. Simple enough, right? Any child can recall how terrifying it was when the lights went out. We would negotiate with mom and dad to leave a light on. Maybe, we even got a cool night light to calm our fears. Staring at that light, we were brought some peace. until we closed our eyes and went to sleep.
As children, we learned that light overcomes darkness and that being able to see brings us calm and security. One of the challenges of faith is to accept that God is our light. He calms our fears, He overcomes darkness and brings peace to our life. That God would come down from the heavens to be among us. That the King of Kings would come to serve; not to BE served. That God would dwell in each and every one of us. That we become that light not to be hidden under a bushel basket; but rather, set out for the whole world to see.
The other night I was blessed to lead an XLT with the band at St. Frances of Rome in Wildomar. It was amazing to see so many people in worship praying and singing. There was great sound, great production, and cool music, but the best thing about the night was the light that shined from the altar in the Eucharist. The light not only shined from the monstrance that held our Lord, but from the people who were present. It was blinding. It healed and it brought peace. It was beautiful and it was LOVE.
This Sunday is also Laetare Sunday. Taken from Latin, it means simply, "to rejoice" Being mid Lent, we look to the passion of our Lord. We look to the death on the cross but more importantly, we rejoice in the promise of the resurrection. We celebrate the Light of the World who conquered the darkness. The Light who made all things new. The light that dwells in you and me.
"If he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see"
Thank you Jesus for being that light. Thank you Lord for showing us the way. We praise you and thank you Jesus. You are the Light of the world. Continue to open the eyes of the faithful. May they see less of us and more of You and end our blindness forever.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
What blinds you?
What are the "lights" in your life?
How are you preparing for Easter?