Monday, October 12, 2009

October Update #2

Been meditating on a certain section of scripture outside of SOS and wanted to mention it here.

Those interested in my further musings on SOS need not worry. I've not dropped it. I'll get back to it. Things are stirring in my heart again in that area but I have to have time to look up scriptures concerning it. Plus, also, this meditation does actually touch on my understanding of SOS.

But the scripture that's rolling around within me now, I don't need to look up.
I can quote it from memory.
It comes from John Chapter one the first five verses.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being by Him and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
In Him was Life. And the Life was the Light of men.
And the Light shines in the darkness. And the darkness did not comprehend (or overcome) it.

I memorized this one while still young in the Lord. It has been a source of strength and comfort.

Notice in the last line that I have parenthesis that contain the word overcome. I put that there because that is what the footnote in my Bible says could be used in the place of comprehend. When I was young, the idea of Light overcoming darkness was a more powerful, needed, and even a romantic or heroic thought than the fact that darkness could not comprehend Light.

But lately, I have seen how deep and foundational the truth of darkness not getting/understanding/comprehending the Light. The longer I walk this earth, the more I see people who think they have the Light, walking around in darkness and not really understanding what the true Light is.

As an example, think of the Old South and slavery. Slave owners used to use the Bible to support their practice of slavery. Since their were laws in the Old Testament and Advice given to masters and slaves in the New Testament, this was good enough for plantation owners to continue in this barbaric practice.

But I like the words of Abraham Lincoln. (borrowed from Molly's AIM blog. Thanks Molly!): "Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally. "

Our 16th president had a better grasp on Light than the plantation owners. He understood 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'
The plantation owners were only interested in the parts of the Bible that they could use to maintain their privileged life style on the backs and sweat of others.

There is another example of a man being completely blinded by the darkness of this world and the darkness of his own mind. Yet he held up certain Bible verses as proof of his privilege and used them to lord it over another. This example can be found in my May 21, 2009 post, "The Big Picture". I'd link it here but for some reason my attempts to link to my own posts never succeed. But it's in my archives.

A friend of mine told me about something her young son said to her one day. He turned to her and said, "Mom, I'm five now. I know everything."
We laughed at this. But really, this boy demonstrated what happens to some Christians when they think they have 'arrived' at some spiritual pinnacle. They think they have a firm handle on truth and Light. But they don't. They don't know that they have some knowledge and knowledge puffs up. It's all around us.

There was a man in our history around the time of the revolution, wish I could remember who he was. Any way, he was a lawyer or a judge or something and a Christian. But people always saw him scribbling on paper. And since he was such a knowledgeable and wise man, people believed he was scribbling down great amounts of wisdom.
One person braved a chance and looking at this man's notes and was shocked to find that all he had written was, "More light, Lord. More light."

This historical figure had it figured out that we live in a dark world and needed light. He didn't make the mistake of looking around and deciding that what he saw and what he thought was Light. He knew better than that. He knew that God's ways are higher than our ways and God's thoughts are higher than ours.

Too many men, preachers included, think that the darkness bumping around in their own heads is not darkness, but light. They err in their thinking and believe it is the truth and even use the Bible to back it up. But they miss the Light altogether. They miss it because they do not comprehend it.

I like how Ezekiel responded to God when God presented him the Valley of Dry Bones. God asked him if those bones could live again. Ezekiel knew better than to say yes or no. He said to God, "Thou knowest" because he knew he had no clue himself.

God invites use to come and reason with Him. Though our sins are like scarlet, He can make them white as snow. Though we live in a world of darkness and are steeped in dark thoughts, He can call us out into the Light. If we humble ourselves and stop thinking we have some sort of corner on the truth market, then He can send His Light to overcome the darkness.
But if we insist on living in the darkness, and calling it light. Our darkness will not comprehend true Light when It shines in the lives of others.


Gem said...

Just piping up to say I am here and I missed your posts... I'm glad your SOS meditations are still percolating on the back burner.

Very good thoughts on "comprehending light". I am reminded of another place where the English "comprehend" is used (in NKJV anyway):

from Eph 3:
"that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

It says knowing/comprehending the love of Christ surpasses knowledge. I think knowing the love of Christ is experiencing intimacy/connection with Him, and it does not depend one iota upon "book learnin'"

Hannah said...

Great article Mara.

Nate Phelps story is so sad, and YES you do see how people cherry pick verses to justify their actions. I can understand why Nate ran away, but I pray that he soon sees the true God....not the one his father seem to tell him about.

Mara Reid said...

Thanks, ladies.
It's good to know that two of my favorite bloggers are checking in on me from time to time.

You bring up a good point, Gem.
Ephesians 3 has one of my favorite prayers and I used to love thinking about comprehending the width and length and depth, etc of the love God and yet never connected it to John 1. Thanks.

And yes, Hannah. Any prayers anyone has to offer up for Nate is wonderful. I cannot speak for God, but I would think that He doesn't look upon him with the kind of judgement many Christians might. God knows the depth of his pain and still loves him.

JaneDoeThreads said...

this is one of those topics I have been wondering about A LOT, how light and dark work...the lamp of our eye, etc., and comparing-thinking on the Word and things in nature,

because I am very aware of darkness-and the lure to sin in myself, that 'force' that sometimes seems is Way stronger than me, hard to explain, but I started questioning the whole eye being lamp and darkness inside and love [John] and that if one hates brother the truth not in them,

etc. It seems I have a LOT of trouble struggling with this darkness when I think/write about the oppression and violence towards women...I don't [love] those brothers, and I really struggle, sometimes I don't feel the 'gush of love' pouring from my heart in church during worship or when I hear music and I think, I hate all this pretense and this Rebellion rises up in me, but it seems its those 'little cracks' that the dark takes over...

so, one day, I'm in bathtub looking at the lightbulb on the wall, the shadow on half of room, and the little crack under the sink cabinet that inside is this dark darkness---

and thinking...

the Light, can see both the shadows and the dark dark...the shadow, is darker but not completely dark, and the dark dark, the Only way in that dark dark, If I were to crawl into that cabinet, to see any light, is if that light was shining in path to me, and at night, we can see 'lights' in the city, from distance but only around that light is there illumination--ironically though, the depth of light, in the complete dark, is a type of dim illumination, and shadows also result but they are dark, dark...

so, my point is, shadows, block light. In the day time at least, and at night, where there is light [I've done some experiments here, LOL] the shadows are longer and far darker.

So, maybe the question is, like Paul says, we see through the glass darkly, could he have been referring to the shadows? And if so,

is sin that shadow? I think so, I think so much inside us, are shadows...

and that brings me back to what Jesus said, the eye is the lamp and if lamp is dark, how great that darkness...

I'm still thinking a lot on this, haven't got answers, but I know, there is still a lot of shadows in me and sometimes the more I try to remove them [feelings esp] the stronger they get...

and I have found, this much thus far, a lot of it, really is in the mind. Which makes me much of the 'spiritual realm' really is in or a part of our mind, what we 'can't' see about ourselves?

I think weird stuff like this...but downside, it can on some days, make one a tad crazy, LOL.

glad to see you back blogging Mara, missed reading here. BTW, am doing a lot of reading about light-shadows, science, is also connected to seasons, interesting stuff...

Mara Reid said...

Being a deep thinker is both a blessing and a curse.
Sometimes it would just be easier if we had the minds of children because then we could just rely on "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so." Even going through hell on earth, it might be simpler to hold onto a simple faith.

But you and I are deep thinkers. (along with many others). But I believe if we wrestle with God long enough, He will bless us.

As far as not loving those who oppress women, I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. I'm not saying that we are not to do so. I'm just saying that I don't think God expects us to get there over night. What you might do, if you are so incline, is just bring it up in prayer to God as one of the things you can't do yet. He knows we are but dust. He knows better than we do that we are a work in progress. And sometimes it's one step forward two steps back for a while. Unless there is a flat out miracle, healing from the deep wounds don't happen over night. They take time. Often years.

And as far as light and dark are concerned, I still think the best approach is to take the, "I don't know it all yet," approach, unlike the five year old I mentioned in my post, unlike many preachers who are sure they know everything, that they have somehow arrived.

We don't completely arrive till we get to heaven.
Until then, there's a lot to learn. There's a lot of light we haven't seen yet.
Just being conscious of that fact makes us better able to see it when it comes along, or find it when we go looking for it.

Thanks so much for stopping by.