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alightheartThe first letter of John has some strong words for us this morning which we might want to consider, especially if we are in the habit of making New Year’s resolutions. John says (1 JN 2:3-11) that whoever claims to be abiding in God “ought to walk just as Jesus walked.” That’s a pretty tall order – but it is our call if we want to “live in the light.” John talks about the fact that it is impossible to live in the light if we do not love our “brother” (and he’s not just talking about our immediate family – although they are surely included). Those who “hate” (John’s word – used surely to shock us into recognition) others walk in darkness and have no idea where they’re going because darkness has blinded them. We often use the words hate and love rather frivolously, as in I hate peanut butter but I love jelly. Certainly John is more serious than that. There is too much hatred in our world, whether for the person down the street or a whole race or tribe of people in a foreign country. How is it that we can decide who to hate without ever having had a conversation or looked into the other person’s eyes? To whom are we blinded without personal experience? Why? Where did our information come from? This all reminds me of a song from the musical South Pacific, which I have, perhaps, quoted here before. It says, in part: We have to be taught to be afraid of people whose eyes are oddly made and people whose skin in a different shade; we have to be carefully taught…

Today my prayer is for more light, in me and in all the world, that we might come to give up our self-imposed darkness and embrace the light that is available to us, if we will only resolve to let in more light, more love.