By: Eddy Ameen
Readings: Isaiah 49:1-7; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; John 12:20-36; Psalm 71:1-14 (6)
I attended a Quaker school from grades 7 to 12 and once a week, we had all-school Quaker meetings. Our teachers guided us to “wait for the light of God to pass through us” before getting up to share a reflection with others during these unstructured gatherings. I don’t think I got up to speak once in all those years. I wanted to – and often rehearsed in my mind something I wanted to say – but I was so confused by what it meant to wait for the light. How would I know it had passed through me? What signal was I to look for, and how could I beckon it? It felt like a high burden for someone who thought they had great things to say. Despite this, I found meetings deeply enriching in my adolescent development. They offered me time to center myself in community with others; they provided me an unhurried delight of taking hold of what a friend or faculty member shared, letting it pass over the pools and valleys of my thoughts.
As a Lutheran in adulthood, I see now that not speaking in those Quaker meetings showed me the wisdom in silence. Silence as an adult in a busy world is so welcome. At the same time, I see now that the light of God has always been within me. I do not need to be a passive bystander waiting for that light to appear. If the light feels dim – If I feel ashamed or doubtful, for example – I can choose to walk further and deeper in my faith, and restore some of that brightness.
May the period of Lent when we praise Jesus and serve as Jesus has, be filled with silence, and also with light, even on the darkest day.
Oh God, may you offer each of us in Luther Place and around the world a glimpse of our own bright, grace-filled light that you gave to us, and which we can discover by faithfully walking in the path of Jesus Christ. It is on this path we are always and evermore at home as your children.