sources from the Word Among Us
Meditation: 1 John 2:3-11
5th Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord
Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. (1 John 2:9)
When was the last time your heart got a good spring cleaning? Think about it now: is there anything you’ve let sit around for too long? Old hurts, perhaps, or jealousies or grievances? We might not even realize they are there. Taken individually, they might be so small or inconsequential as to not even be worth rejecting. Could they really hold us back from God? Yes! If we aren’t careful, these little annoyances can accumulate over time, until they become nearly insurmountable.
As today’s passage says, when we hate our brother, we are still in darkness. This is strong language, and at first we might not think it applies to us. It’s quite possible when you examine your heart you won’t find that you hate anyone. But every little thing that we allow to remain in our hearts that isn’t of God can have an effect on us. We might not be in darkness, but we certainly might find ourselves in the shade!
God wants us to live in the light of his love and grace. He knows that when we bask in his power—when the obstacles are cleared away—we grow. Like plants that thrive in sunlight, we become spiritually tall and strong as we reach towards the heavens. He wants us to be visible to all around us, living examples of what his grace can accomplish if given a clear path to our hearts.
We’re coming to the end of another year. Now is the perfect time to clear away some of the things that are hindering the work that God is doing in us, even the small ones that we don’t usually pay attention to. Let’s open ourselves to his healing and empowering light. Is anything really worth holding onto if we can exchange it for a little more of his mercy? If you can’t think of anything, you can ask him to show you what you can let go of. There’s always room for more growth!
“Lord, thank you for your constant light shining down from above and filling me with grace. Help me to identify things that keep me in the shade so that I can put them aside permanently. Jesus, come and fill me!”
Psalm 96:1-3, 5-6