Lent, Luke

Lightning Day

It’s on my mind still that there are many ways God gets through to us. Although it would be convenient to receive a printed document specifying what we are to do, how we are to use our gifts and talents, exactly what God wants us to do or be, it’s been a long time since Moses brought rules on tablets.

Instead, Jesus walked from town to town, teaching. That’s the slow way most of us reach new understanding, listening to someone talking. He employed stories that we continue to deconstruct today. Jesus also healed people, drawing attention to his power and showing that he cared about those who suffer, especially those who have been ill or disabled for a long time. He did unexpected things, eating with the wrong kind of people, shocking the uptight people in leadership with his social behavior.

But all these things are subtle compared to the moment of truth.

You’ll be looking for me some day, he said. People will be pointing to this sign and that one, but don’t pay attention to them.

The Human One will appear on his day in the same way that a flash of lightning lights up the sky from one end to the other. (Luke 17:24, CEB)

In other words, once it’s that obvious, we may have waited too long to figure things out.

There was a time in my life where a realization lit up the sky that way. I don’t think those opportunities to change our lives come often, and even more rarely do they repeat themselves. The softer, more subtle, forms of instruction hadn’t gotten through to me. Fireworks in the distance underscored the electric flash of realization.

God sometimes offers enlightenment by a preponderance of the evidence.” Maybe I could have made the discovery in question that way, too, but I’m grateful for Lightning Day. It shocked me into seeing the truth, into redirecting my life. The stubborn among us need lightning. Thank goodness, God gives it to us sometimes.

Thank you, God, for lighting up the sky from one end to the other. Amen.

I’m reading and blogging about Luke for Lent. Want to read along? The full schedule can be found here.