Figures of Speech

Lent 4A    Ephesians 5:8-14

5:8 For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light-

5:9 for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.

5:10 Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.

5:11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

5:12 For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly;

5:13 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible,

5:14 for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, "Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."

I remember trying to sort out light and darkness in a sermon on these texts three years ago. I want to be sure that comfortable white people, myself included, think about how much bias has been read into texts like these, not to merely dismiss them as figures of speech. I want to say that absence of light was terrifying, because it meant, well, darkness, darkness not abated by supermarket-purchased, environmentally appropriate (unless they break, and then it's a whole 'nother matter) fluorescent bulbs, darkness that would mean no crops, no food, no material for clothing, no life as anyone knew it. No wonder darkness stood for everything bad.

But there is more to darkness, and more to light, and the problem is not in the words but in our being unconscious of the weight they carry.

Weight, of course, being a whole different matter…

1 thought on “Figures of Speech”

  1. On that topic, I really like the Litany for Light and Darkness in the back of the UCC hymnal…

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