attention light and darkness Scripture

Jesus, the light of the world

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12, NRSV Bible with Apocrypha

Jesus is all flame; he is the light of the world, the light of life for all people. Our desire to become all flame, as Abba Joseph puts it, is simply another way of saying we want to love Jesus so much we will follow him no matter what, just to be with him in his mission of truth, mercy, healing, provision, redemption, justice, and love.

I regret that I regularly and habitually focus on the ashes and not the light, as Thomas Merton writes; every time I do that, I forfeit an experience of the very best for something less than that. As Mary Oliver says, when I do that “there is something wrong, I know”.

  • What is  your response to Jesus’ claim to be “the light of the world”?
  • How do you manage in our culture that is designed and engineered to capture our attention in a million different ways?
  • What is your experience of “light” vs. “darkness” in your life?
  • Take a moment to write down what comes to your mind. Maybe share it with a loved one later.

Gracious God, in your mercy, enable us to follow Jesus more and more each day.

Grace and peace to you…


Image – Rembrandt portrait of Jesus from

light and darkness Scripture

Light and darkness

…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.

John 3:19-21, NRSV Bible with Apocrypha

We are so torn.

We reach for what we think gives life.

It entices us, fools us, and warps our very ability to perceive the difference between death-dealing and life-giving.

And the light is too bright, life-giving decisions and actions too hard, the freedom outside our familiar prisons too risky.

When we get to this place…and all of us get there…Lord, light of the world, have mercy on us.

  • Have you been in this place? Are you now?
  • If you are, what about the darkness is enticing you, holding you? What frightens you about coming into the light? Try to name these things, write them down. I think God will help you; in fact, God has promised to help you.
  • If you once were, what is it like looking back now? How do you feel about the darkness you were in? What was your experience transitioning to the Light?
  • Take some time to write down what is coming to mind. It might come back to save you someday.

Grace and peace to you…


Photo by Isai Ramos on Unsplash