In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not.
John 1: 4-5
I have been slain by light. Drawn from the darkness of sin, and death into a glorious blinding in-dwelling life. How can I even move? How can I even speak? Like Job I cry out from this encounter with you: “my ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you and I AM UNDONE”…
John 1:1, the Genesis of the New Covenant. Here THE WORD leaps from John’s lips, leaps into the chaos, pitches his tent in the flesh, in the neighborhood, leaps into the darkest places of man’s hearts and drives his stake…his cross. This one is MINE!
In my beginning was my Creator, fashioning me in the darkness of the womb. Knitting a tapestry of variegated threads each a line in my story. I was named upon his lips before there was a drop of water, a creature, a song. The Star-Breather, who spoke all things into being, who is himself the light of creation, gave me to the earth for this time, this season, and he who gave me breath, sustains me every moment of the day by the word of his power. I place my hand upon my mouth. How are these words even possible?
” …who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Hebrews 1:3″
The sages teach that when God spoke the world into existence the Word is still reverberating, creating, echoing through time. God is still speaking. They say that if God ever stopped speaking creation into being it would revert back to the nothingness of “before” the chaos into which the WORD spoke and life was. So, what is this life that is the light of men, this Chai? Shovel in hand I head to the deeper part of the word and stand at the edge of the dig amazed to find that life in Hebrew revolves around the stomach.
To the Ancient Hebrews life is seen as a full stomach while an empty stomach is seen as death. –Jeff Benner
How could the Lenten theme of denial, emptiness and fasting tie in to a full stomach? Do I have this all backwards? I could hear the wind of God and I looked to where it blew the leaves of the pages, the rustling seemed to whisper to me…”your are looking from the outside in” ! Rejoicing in the invitation to a treasure hunt, I brushed away the leaves, turned the dirt over to discover the connection-Appetite.
What am I hungry for? What do I crave? My natural man reverberated with the aroma of my fleshly desires. Praise, respect, notoriety, position, influence, beauty….With each acknowledgement I saw the way they left my soul empty, hungry, famished until I could feel the yearning cry resonate within: “Nothing satisfies, I am hungry for you God. I want to be satisfied with you.”
“They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. Psalm 36: 8-9”
“How do I open my mouth to eat the abundant life?” No sooner had I asked, when the answer was in my mouth:
” I am the LORD your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10″
Get out of Egypt. Out of the darkness. Out of the world into the glorious light. Out of death, into life. Any place in my heart that is still in Egypt is a place of hunger, famine, and desolation. Estranged from the provision of God, shriveled and weak. My destiny is Canaan, I can’t live in Egypt. There needs to be a crossing over, here on the shores of my Jordan, I invite his gaze. Like a helpless baby bird, I am given the picture of my true condition. Naked, without feathers, in a nest perched upon a precipice totally dependent upon the devoted care of the Watchful One, who neither slumbers nor sleeps. I can’t even feed myself, and I don’t know how to fly.
“Tell me Lord, what doesn’t belong to you? What have I held back? What idols are secretly buried under my tent? Where is there darkness in me? Bring me into the light. Shine your light upon the dark corners of my heart that I might see the way, to everlasting abundant life. Delighted and satisfied with good things”.