Sons of Light and Daughters of Day

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief.  For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober. 1 Thessalonians 5: 4-6 (New American Bible)

If ever in our lifetimes it seemed like the apocalypse was imminent, it’s now. We’ve had fires, hurricanes, floods, a pandemic, political and social unrest, and violence of all kinds. That’s everything I imagined when I heard homilies in my childhood during the last weeks of ordinary time. What I didn’t learn until I was well into adulthood is what the word “apocalypse” actually means. The Greek word actually means “to uncover or reveal.” It has absolutely no resemblance to what we’ve come to think of as “apocalyptic,” or does it?

In her speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, Michelle Obama said, “The Presidency doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.” I think the same is true of the “apocalyptic” challenges our world has been experiencing, especially since this past spring. They are revealing who we are as individuals, as communities, as a Church, as a nation and as citizens of the world. I don’t know about you, but it’s been pretty disturbing to me to see the truth revealed about myself and others as a result of living in the midst of a pandemic, racial division and political divisiveness.

What a perfect time for the message we hear in this reading from First Thessalonians. This is the translation from The Message Bible:

But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart.

How easy it is for us to forget this important Truth! We each claim to be people of faith, or else we wouldn’t be reading this blog. And yet, I’m willing to bet, that we don’t always behave like sons of Light and daughters of Day. Are our attitudes and behaviors any different from those around us who don’t claim to be people of faith? Have we succumbed to despair, character assassination, ridicule, paralyzing fear? I’m sure we’ve all had moments of one or more of these, and that’s part of our common human weakness. But it can’t be the place we get stuck. We are held to different standards as followers of Jesus. We are children of LIGHT and so we are called to reflect that Divine Light into the world. How can we do that when there’s so much darkness around us, and that might have made its way inside us? The good news is that when it’s so dark it doesn’t take much light to make a difference. Think of a candle, or even just a match, lit in a dark room. We don’t have to do big, dramatic things to reflect Divine Light. We can simply be kind to the person who is clearly upset or angry. We can greet our neighbors as we walk our dogs and even engage in physically distanced conversation. We can wear a mask to protect others and ourselves. We can refrain from engaging in demonizing those on the other side of the political spectrum. Some of us might be among those called to care for those in hospitals or care centers. Hopefully you’re able to do that work with compassion and patience. And know that we are deeply grateful for your service. However and whenever we are with others or communicating with others on the phone, Zoom, social media or email, we are called to be Sons of Light and Daughters of Day.

What are these times revealing about us? Are we willing to let the Light overcome the darkness in us? How will we be bearers and reflectors of the Light into the world in which we live? As we come to the end of the liturgical year, are we able to look to a future filled with hope? We’re here to support each other in this endeavor, in this way of life as we follow Jesus. However we can, let’s keep saying to each other and the world “We are children of Light!”

November 11, 2020 by Anita Davidson
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