Fourth Sunday in Lent: Enlighten

John 3:14-21

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”

I have had the opportunity to ponder both light and darkness this week.  Since I was spending some time on the West Coast, I decided to visit one of my most sacred spaces, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.  

Cathedrals are filled with opportunities to consider the interplay between darkness and light.  The brilliance of stained glass windows pierces through darkened columns of stone; the glow of candles softens dark corners with rippling prayers of hope and remembrance.  Stepping inside a darkened corridor can reveal great light from a source that could not be seen from one’s earlier vantage point.  Sometimes, even turning around  illuminates brilliance of color that was passed by unrecognized.  As this week’s Gospel suggests, enlightenment does not require us to create our own light.  We step forward in dark places, believing that the Light is already there for us, waiting to enfold us.  Enlightenment can be an epiphany of the present moment, a glimpse of color dancing on the cold, gray sameness.  Our enlightened hearts become attuned to the light, sensing where to move so that more beauty can be revealed.  

This week’s daily posts will use visuals and words to explore the theme “enlighten.”  May you find inspiration and renewal each day, knowing that the Light has already come into the world: transforming darkness, transforming lives, transforming us.

Even in the midst of Lent, we keep moving forward knowing the Light has come into the world, a light which darkness cannot overcome.

Rose Window, Grace Cathedral

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