Welcome To Lay Reflections!
A Ley Driven Blog.
March 29th, 2020
“Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, ’I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’ (John 8:12 NRSV). When I read this verse, I think of Jesus as a candle in the darkness and I as a Christian am a moth hovering around his flame. Out of a fear of the darkness outside I should try to stay focused on his light. But, Richard Rohr through his book “The Universal Christ” has given me another way to read this verse. He says, “Christ is the light that allows people to see things in their fullness.” In effect Christ is a flashlight to see the world with love, compassion and inclusion! We are not moths fleeing from the darkness but explorers seeking out the darkness with Christ as our flashlight. We are truly living in dark and scary times with so many unknowns that it is overwhelming. We are called to social distance ourselves to keep each other safe but that does not mean that we should be spiritually isolated from each other and remain in the darkness alone. It is time to turn on our Christ flashlights and shine them into the darkness and search for each other with love and understanding.
January 4th, 2020
One of the most mysterious verses in the Bible to me is John 21:11. “So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn.” This takes place after the Resurrection and just after Jesus asks the disciples to cast their nets to catch fish. But, why such a precise number? One hundred fifty-three is such an odd number as well. It had to have significance. The Bible uses numbers to express meaning. For example, anytime you read the number forty it means a complete cycle or transition while anytime you read the number twelve it references the tribes of Israel or the Disciples. Also, I understand fishing is a metaphor for evangelism. Obviously the one hundred fifty-three caught fish brought to Jesus must have a message for us involving evangelism. I was still stumped on the number. Then one morning I was listening to a sermon by Father Richard Rohr. He is a Franciscan priest who I cannot recommend highly enough. Please look up his books and podcasts. You will not be disappointed! Anyway, he says that according to Jewish scholars at the time it was believed that there were one hundred fifty-three nations in the world. Wow, the puzzle piece fell right into place for me at that moment. Jesus is asking the Disciples to bring before him the entirety of the world’s nations. What a commission! This has a lot of meaning to me because of the contrast to today’s world. We live in a world with growing xenophobia and racism and polarization. Jesus is not asking us to hide from the world and build walls but to go out into the world and unite the nations in a net that cannot be torn.