* Photo by Robert Nyman.
Jesus said to them, 'The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in that, so that you may become children of light.'
(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
There is a promise and a threat in these words from Jesus. He knows he is moving towards his death, and time is short; he sees the threats around him all too well. After the raising of Lazarus his enemies intend to put an end to his life. They are hampered by the crowds, but will finally use them to their advantage.
For the Jewish people light has always been seen as good, in both practical and spiritual terms, and dark has equally been seen as bad. Jesus says he is the light of the world, and the promise is that someone who follows him needn't be afraid of the dark or of shadows - shadows like the fear of illness or death; shadows like the fear of failure or loneliness. While we accompany Jesus the shadows are banished.
The threat in these words, is that we may leave it too late. His listeners only had days to turn to him, before he would be crucified. It is never really too late to turn to Jesus, but leaving it so late means we may have lost many productive years of working with him.
You promised to enable us
to walk in the light of Your love;
to save us from the shadows
of sin, and of fear.
Enable us to turn to You each day,
and to commit our lives to Your cause
of bringing Your Kingdom of peace to our world.
You might like to listen to this modern song: The Light of the world (Sing Hallelujah), by the Christian band, 'We the Kingdom'