September 18, 2014
Dear brothers and sisters,
The good news today is in Mark 4:21-23.
He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light. Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.”
Jesus is continuing his conversation with the Twelve and other “insiders” in answering their questions about using parables in his teachings. His purpose was not to conceal the meaning of his teaching but rather to shed light on what can be difficult to discern. A lamp is meant to give light, to chase the shadows from the corners and crannies, to reveal what is hidden or kept in secret.
Jesus came to reveal the kingdom of God; indeed, it was already present in and through him. As John wrote in his gospel, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Barclay states, “Truth is meant to be seen.” And the truth is that Jesus was the anointed one of God, the word made flesh. Jesus came to make visible the kingdom of God and to exhort me to follow him in living in the kingdom today so that I may have the light of life in me.
For a few months now I have been consciously trying to speak and act from the source of God’s love. It usually isn’t my first reaction, though. I react as if I have shoved the light of Jesus, the light of the kingdom, the light of truth, under the bed. The light will not be dimmed, however. Thankfully, It manages to shine into the crevices of my heart and makes visible the secrets and the dark desires that I hold there. When my selfishness is revealed to me by the light of truth I am able to find that source of God’s love in me and respond to others in kindness and gentleness from a heart at peace — the fruits of the Spirit.
That’s what Jesus was teaching his disciples — to let his light shine within their hearts in order for all to see the kingdom of God, to follow him not in darkness but in full light, in full devotion to his truth, the word of God revealed. He was teaching his disciples that they would have to carry forth his mission and his message by living in the light of God’s word, by not keeping secrets, by not keeping anything concealed. People would have to see them as real individuals — sometimes weak, sometimes yielding to temptation, sometimes self-centered, showing that in following Jesus, they would be able to overcome the darkness and enter the kingdom of God.