John 9:4-5

Wednesday, March 22
Sabrina Maggio

“I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Jesus says this in reference to helping a blind man see in this ninth chapter of John. I admit that I didn’t read the rest of the chapter initially—I just read this verse, much like most of my Bible reading experiences. And at first glance, I interpret this verse to mean go spread God’s word and hurry it up, time is ticking. As a teacher and a mom, it seems only natural that I interpret this verse as yet another task on my to-do list. And I sigh and say to myself “One more thing to do. Do the laundry. Pick up the kids. Plan the lessons. Read the IEP. Re-plan the lessons. Play with the puppy. Do the dishes. Organize a playdate. Sign up for all the summer camps. Be the light of the world.”

Later, after reading the verse more in context with the chapter, I see this verse as encouragement: do the good work that God would want you to do. Do it now while we have the voice and the time. But, the question still looms, what does that work look like? The teacher in me wants a bullet-point list, but the Christian in me says there is no list. Doing God’s work ranges from something as simple as showing kindness to a stranger, loving your family, and raising your kids to be good and decent people, to more complex things like leading a classroom with love and compassion, donating money to good causes, or doing mission work in places where it’s needed most.

The last part of this verse is my favorite though. Jesus says, “as long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” This is a call to action: People, let’s be the freakin’ light! Will it be the same light as Jesus? Well, no. His light is more like perfect sunlight shining through an ozone layer that isn’t damaged so it’s not super dangerous and no one gets burnt. The light of Jesus in this chapter made a blind man see. Our light is more like the sun on a partly cloudy day, in the present-day, very damaged ozone layer. It’s limited, with obstacles (clouds, smog, etc.) that prevent us from giving the purest light possible. But what we can do as mere, flawed mortals … is our part. While we will not physically give sight to the blind, we can do our part to spread this light, do the good stuff, be an example of God’s love. When I look at it this way, my to-do list isn’t quite as daunting (except for signing up for summer camps). Nothing, not even reading 16th-century French literature is harder than that.  Jesus’ light was perfection; ours will be dimmer, but as long as we are here, let’s do our part.

Gracious God, grant us the courage and the confidence to follow Jesus’ example and do our part to be the light of the world as long as we are here. May our good works brighten a world plagued with the darkness of corruption and violence. Amen.

1 Comment

  1. Cathy Schnittker says:

    Beautiful Sabrina. Your Mom meant a lot to me and you have so much of her in you.


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