December 06, 2017
Have you ever gone spelunking?
Spelunking is the exploration of caves and it is quite an experience if you have never been.
Two of the required pieces of equipment when going into a cave are a helmet and a light. While spelunking, one of the exercises that is often conducted is to arrive at a certain point in the cave and ask everyone to turn off their light. It is in that moment when all the lights are turned off and you cannot see your hand only inches in front of your face, that you can actually feel the darkness.
You can actually feel the darkness.
It is that moment when you can easily be overwhelmed by the darkness that surrounds you. Your eyes make an adjustment to the darkness but the initial moment is remembered. It is in that moment when one realizes the emptiness of darkness. It is a moment of loneliness because you cannot see anyone else. You cannot sense the touch or sense the presence of another human—loneliness is a very empty feeling.
In this passage, we discover the power and presence of the “Word.” The link between this passage and the creation story in Genesis 1 ties the creative power of God’s spoken word to the word becoming flesh in the person of Jesus. The writer takes us back to when there was nothing but darkness and reminds us of God’s powerful light. These words are an offering of hope to all people whom God loves.
“The light shines in the darkness,” John writes, “and the darkness did not overcome it.
Jesus is that light to everyone. He is the light that overcomes the darkness. He exemplified this by going to work for others. He washed people’s feet, healed the blind, was the mouthpiece for those who could not speak up, served them bread and offered hope through his actions.
As we look to the light this Advent season, may we also offer others hope. May we help others thrive. The way to thrive, is to cause others to thrive; the way to fulfill yourself is to spend yourself.
The way to thrive, is to cause others to thrive; the way to fulfill yourself is to spend yourself.
Spend yourself going to work for others. Look for creative ways in which to give others hope. Look for creative ways in which to help others experience love. Look for creative ways in which to celebrate joy with others. Share the light of hope, love and joy by going to work for others.
My first experience spelunking was enlightening for me. I still remember the moment when the lights were turned off and I couldn’t see anything in front of my eyes. I felt the coldness and emptiness of darkness in that moment. We were all encouraged to turn on our lights after a short period of time that seemed like an eternity. I remember the light being so bright in that first initial moment. The room became warmer and voices returned to fill the room. Light had come to darkness and the light was good.
May the light of Christ shine in your life this advent season and give hope to others.