For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light— for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth— proving what is pleasing to the Lord. And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things are exposed when they are revealed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
~ Ephesians 5: 8-14 Modern English Version
This year’s Lenten period and its search for light coincide with the emergence of several social justice movements, each seeking to expose those things done in secret. The “MeToo” campaign is shining a light on abusive conduct in places of prominence and privilege everywhere; the planned student walkout for March 14th is shining a light on America’s dark obsession with guns. In Canada, many are shining a light on the lack of diversity in our justice system.
Of course, shining a light on things does not always mean exposing wrong-doing. Sometimes it means bringing something or someone out of the shadows and into our awareness. As when Daniela Vega stepped into the spotlight at the Academy Awards as the first openly transgender actress to appear as a presenter. As when the recent “Let’sTalk” campaign asked us to be forthcoming and understanding about mental health issues. And there are many other examples where we need to “shine a light” for the betterment of ourselves as well as others.
Where does each of us wish to shine a light? Where does the Centre for Christian Studies hope to shine a light?
I was reminded, comically, of the moment this past weekend when the lights went out at the Toronto Maple Leafs versus Washington Capitals outdoor hockey game in Washington; fans in attendance used their cell phones’ “flashlight” function to see in the dark. There they were, dozens of fans in various sections, shining a light in the cold and dark.
If Jesus were among us, I wonder what He would make of things. Yes, I wonder, what would Jesus “Tweet”? Could it be “do unto others as you would have God do unto you?” Or perhaps just what the scripture says in Ephesians: “I am the light of the world.” Hashtag ”WakeUp.”
And so we pray:
Gracious God, may we be awake to your call for justice and light in the world. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Del is a retired radio and communications specialist and friend of CCS. He chaired the Communications and Promotions committee from 2015 to 2018. In his church life, he likes to read scripture as a current document and hopes to follow Jesus on Twitter some day.