The Blindness that Stalks America
“The One who is the true light, who gives light to everyone …” (John 1:9) “…They loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. They hate the light … They stay away from the light…” (John 3:20)
In John 9 a man born blind receives his sight by washing mud off in a pool. Just like that! But the religious leaders who question the man never do see. This story’s line culminates in the extinguishing of that Light by the blind but the Light’s rekindling by God. Those who embraced that Light saw and were forever changed.
Each of the gospels reveals the progression of blindness in the minds and hearts of those who did not want to see. Like the woman whose cataracts were removed and then spent the next week in exhaustive house cleaning somewhere inside most of us have some trouble with light and what it reveals to us about ourselves.
Mark’s gospel (2:1-3:6) reveals a progressing darkness; from an honest questioning, “Who can forgive sins but God?” (2:6) to “…the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to discuss plans for killing Jesus.” (3:6)
There is an open door of questioning and discussion about race, budgets, healthcare, welfare, taxes, sexuality, and the like. When the darkness of partisanship, denominationalism, conservatism, liberalism or whatever ‘ism’ you want to call it, closes that door the result is a desire to extinguish light. This desire to put away opposition or the light of another’s perspective now characterizes our national and local political discussions. Like the crucifixion of our Lord, no matter who ‘wins’ the end will likely be ugly. Whether theologically or politically; may we embrace light, a willingness to allow that light to question us, our true motives and our heart’s desire. We may be less popular or accepted but we will sleep better at night and in eternity.