Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, August, 2014

posted Aug 6, 2014, 3:41 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Aug 6, 2014, 3:41 PM ]

Seeing More Clearly through the Darkness

 

I have always considered myself more of a “morning” as opposed to an “evening” type person. Now that I am retired, however, I would estimate that I probably see more sunsets than sunrises, particularly in the summer season. Once upon a time a rabbi posed this question to his followers, "How do you know when night is giving way and the morning light is coming?"

 

One of his disciples stood and said, "Teacher, won't you know that night is fading when, through the dim light, you can see an animal and recognize whether it is a sheep or a dog?"

 

   The rabbi replied to him, "No, wrong answer."

 

"Rabbi," asked another of his disciples. "Won't you know that the dawn is coming when you can see clearly enough to distinguish whether a tree is either fig or olive?"

 

 “No,” responded the teacher once more. "You will know that the night has passed when you can look at any man and any woman and discern that you are looking at a brother or a sister. Until you can see that with distinct clarity, the night will always be with us."

 

This story reminds us that we are in darkness until we look at one another through the eyes of God. It is that simple, and that difficult. Often, we have preconceived notions of what we are seeking, or where we may find it.

 

Isaiah, the prophet announces: “The whole earth is wrapped in darkness, all people sunk in deep darkness. But God rises on you, his sunrise glory breaks over you. Nations will come to your light, kings to your sunburst brightness. Look up! Look around! Watch as they gather, watch as they approach”. (Isaiah 60: 2-3 The Message)

 

God’s purpose, God’s vision, indeed God’s light exists. When we live in the glory of God, when the light has come, we may more often see with clarity the common humanity of one another. Actually it is not always a matter of the one right way of thinking; in fact there rarely is one right way. Rather, we see ourselves in the other, despite our differences, because of our differences. The sons and daughters coming from afar that Isaiah speaks of are the sons and daughters of all humanity. They are the ones we seek to welcome, and those that we struggle to welcome.

 

Even in the light of God, we are still covered in darkness. The prophet Isaiah calls us to: “Lift up God’s light reflected within us is a light reflected in us all. According to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “A person is a person through other persons. We are set in a delicate network of interdependence with our fellow human beings and with the rest of God’s creation. The truth is we need each other. We cannot survive and thrive without one another.”

 

In God’s family, there are no outsiders. All are insiders. Black and white, rich and poor, youngsters and oldsters, Jew and Arab, Palestinian and Israeli, Roman Catholic and Protestant, Pakistani and Indian, these and all others are included … God’s dream wants everyone to be brothers and sisters, wants us all to be family… In our world we cannot survive alone.

 

We are travelers on this road together, seeking God’s path, reflecting God’s light, welcoming others. Arise, shine, our light has come.

 

The night has lasted far, far too long. It's time for dawn to break. It's past time for us to see one another as the sisters and brothers we are. Every last one of us! Only then will we know that indeed night has truly passed and a new day has dawned.

 

George M. Weaver, Pastor of Maturing Ministries

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