Saturday, March 4, 2017

Saturday Scriptures #8-Children of Light

Bathing In The Light

Shining Sun After The Storm
Public Domain Image

Jesus said, "For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn't destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don't know where you're going. As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You'll be children of light."
(John 12: 35-36 The Message)

God is God, 
  he has bathed us in light.
(Psalm 118:27  The Message)

In today's scripture from the book of John, Jesus is about to go into hiding as the Pharisees are already plotting to kill him. He has recently raised Lazarus from the dead and Mary has already annointed his feet with oil, much to the dismay of Judas Iscariot. The high priests are even plotting to kill Lazarus because so many Jews are believing in Jesus because of what Jesus has done in raising Lazarus from the dead. To further enrage the Pharisees, huge crowds are gathering and breaking off palm branches and waving them in the air as Jesus passes by while shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in God's name! Yes! The King of Israel!" So many people who have witnessed these miracles of Jesus are spreading the word of what they have seen and their actions are causing this parade of praise to Jesus to occur, which is further enraging the Pharisees. And through all of this, the disciples are failing to notice the fulfillment of many scriptures. Jesus, always patient, tries to explain to them what it means to follow him. And it is during this time, that He speaks to his disciples of being children of light. I wonder if Jesus is recalling the passage from Psalm 118 when He teaches the disciples this lesson?

Have you ever watched children playing in water? Their faces are pure joy as they splash about tossing beach balls or floating on foam noodles. "Watch me, watch me!" they shout as they kick their feet with abandon, ducking their heads under water, float on their backs or cannonball off the side of the pool. Tired from their play, they reluctantly leave the water long enough to plop down on a towel and take a short rest. Leaning back to feel the sun on their faces, the sunlight shines down on them warming their tired muscles and giving them the youthful glow that children exude. In that moment, they look as if they are bathed in light. 

It's unfortunate that adults lose the ability and/or time to play as children do. Life responsibilities, jobs, traumatic events, bills to pay and dealing with the realities of the world takes its toll on adults. The "watch me, watch me," that we shouted exuberantly as children can become the cry of "help me, help me," as we deal with all that life has to offer. It is easy to forget during difficult times of life that we are called to be "children of light." 

A new practice that I have begun in my prayer life is visualization. As I pray for others, as well as for myself, I picture the person with the light of Jesus shining down on them. I see this light surrounding and enveloping the person sending God's love directly to them. It is a powerful practice that, I find, eases the anxiety I may feel about the situations or problems these people are facing. Even throughout the day, I can visualize God's light shining down on my family, friends, myself, the Earth, bathing everyone and everything in God's light. 

Remember the old Calgon bath products commercials back in the 70's? The lady looking frazzled from a stressful day would shout, "Calgon, take me away!" We would then see her relaxed in a tub full of bubbles, being bathed in calmness and peace. 

Life is not a Calgon commercial, though. Finding peace and calmness is not as easy as jumping into a tub filled with a certain bath product. The world is not an easy place. And if we are not careful, the darkness can destroy us. Jesus knew this. He, too, lived in dangerous and uncertain times. But in the midst of darkness, Jesus has prepared a way for us. It is a way of light. And as we walk in His light, the light shines through us, just like the child sunning by the poolside. God's light shines in us and through us, bathing us in light. And we are truly "children of light." May you experience this light of Jesus in your life today. 


*Comments are alway welcome. I so enjoy your thoughts. 


Sharon said...

Debbie, your devotion this morning was exactly what I needed to hear. Your words themselves exude calmness and peace. I can see how your visualiztion is a powerful practice, and it's one I'm going to try. Thank you.

Debbie Styles Life said...

I'm glad the words helped you, Sharon. The visualization prayer is a powerful and calming way to pray. Have a great weekend!

Lay said...

I love this image that you so beautifully describe. And I, too, am going to use it as I pray for others and wrestle with my own weaknesses that I so long to change each and every day. Thank you, Debbie, for sharing your light with others.

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thanks, Laura, for sharing your thoughts. I hope you find the visualization prayer to be helpful.

Karen said...

What a beautiful message. As the verse says, when we walk in darkness, we do know where we are going. I hate to admit how many times that has been true in my own life. But God has, by His great grace, given us the Light, and has forgiven us when we ask. I am going to borrow your idea about picturing those I pray for as standing in God's light. How encouraging that is. Thank you for selecting this passage today. It reminds me of how much God loves me, and of His grace.

Debbie Styles Life said...

I am glad you are encouraged by the light prayer, Karen. I find it is a very reassuring way to pray for others.

julie Wunder said...

Such a lovely reminder! that visualization is such a good idea.

Mary K. said...

Debbie this is such a beautifully written post. It is so true that life takes a toll on us and reduces us to stressed out humans who cannot enjoy all that we have been blessed with. May we take a moment and find peace in the light of God!