Yes, I know we are all feeling it, ‘rain, rain, go away, come again another day.’ Words of the 17th-century children’s poem, which was first noted in English literature in1687. The poem dispatched the rain to Spain back then; such was European politics, send the bad weather to the Spaniards, ‘rain, rain, go to Spain: fair weather come again.’ As a result of the rain in the Okanagan valley, the hills look lush, the wildflowers radiant, and thankfully there’s no smell of smoke. However, sitting on my deck watching the sunset and the moon appear – watching the nightly shooting stars is now rare. Jesus said I am the light of the world and then famously said, ‘you are the light of the world’, he said this, knowing he would be leaving.
What does this mean for us, how can we shine in a world full of storm clouds of political, social, fake, painful news, and the obvious pandemic?
Jesus said these words, following a celebration called, ‘the illumination of the temple,’ in Jerusalem. It celebrated the cloud and fire that lead the Israelites through the wilderness out of slavery. Jesus was declaring that He is burning fire and cloud that will guide you through your wilderness. Let’s return to my deck and watch the sun and moon. The sun gleams, the moon reflects the light from the sun through the night. Sometimes there is a supermoon, others a wafer-thin crescent moon, which barely illuminates.
At times, the church has been at a full moon, amazing the world with an almost daytime light. These have been times of great enlightenment and instruction. Building some of the first hospitals, first orphanages, feeding programs for the destitute, schools to educate all, social work, nursing, probation services and unions. All have their roots in the church and faith. The church became famous in pandemics of ancient Rome because as the elite classes fled to villas in the hills, the believers stayed to nurse the sick – this impressed the Roman classes. Sadly, at other times the church has been only a crescent moon, with very little light shining upon the earth.
Whether the church is a full moon or a crescent moon, waxing or waning reflects the light of the sun. The mode of shining, Jesus tells us, is ‘good deeds,’ The idea of attractive or beautiful acts. Jesus wants our light to shine through beautiful deeds; he is not advocating fake, staged works. Our Lord would tell us that works of compassion and caring are a top priority. God has placed us here, today, we are to shine where we are placed.
Let’s not send the rain to Spain, spreading bad weather to others; let’s reflect goodness and beauty to the world – reflecting Jesus.